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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



FREDERIC THOMAS BLANCHARD 
ENDOWMENT FUND 



MEMOIRS 

O F 

The Firft FORTY-FIVE YEARS 
OF 

The L I F E 

O F 

JAMES LACKINGTON. 



[ Price Five Shillings in boards. ] 



riti-n ('LVpldrim I'Vlic'ltiT MIISIIS, 



LACK ;::y G T o y , 







MEMOIRS 

O F 

The Firft FORTY-FIVE YEARS 
O F 

The LIFE 

O F 

JAMES LACKINGTON, 

The prefent Bookfeller in Chifwell-ftreet, Moorficlds, London, 

Written by Himfelf. 
In FORTY-SIX LETTERS. to a FRIEXD. 

With a TRIIV.E DEDICATION. 

1. To the FUEL. 1C. 

2. To RESPECTABLE ~\ 

3. To SORDID j 



A NEW E D I T I O N. 

Corre&ed, and much enlarged; interipc rfcd with many original 
humourous Stories, and droll Anecdotes. 



" No youth did I in education wafte ; 

" Happily I'd an intuitive Tajie : 

tl Writing ne'er cramp'd the finews of my thumb, 

41 No barb'rous birch did ever brufh my b . 

" My guts ne'er fulfer'd from a college cook, 
" My name ne'er euter'd in a butteiy book. 
" Giammar in vain the fons of Prifcian teach; 
" Gcod parts arc better than eight parts of fpeecli. 
" Since tliete declm'd, thofe undeclin'd they call ; 
11 I thank my ft.irs, that I declm'd them all. 
" To Greek or Latin tongues without pretence, 
" I truft to Mother Wit and Father Senfe. 
" Nature's my guide; all ped:.ntry 1 fcornj 
" Pains 1 abhor, I was an Author born." 



fuch the vanity of great and fmal!, 



" Contempt goes round, and all men laugh at all." 

LONDON: 

Printed for the AUTHOR, No. 46 and 47, Chifoell-Strcet - 
and fold by all other Eookfellers. 

M DCC XCII. 

[Price 55. in Boards.] 



A TRIPLE DEDICATION.- 



- 



i. TO THE PUBLIC. 

*' In things indiff'rent Reafon bids us chufe, 
" Whether the whim's a monkey or a mufe." 



WORTHY PATRONS, 

WERE I ttfaddrefe you 
in the accuftomed declamatoiy firain which 
has long been adopted as the unmerfal Ian- 
guage of dedications,- viz. FLATTERY, I 
fhould not only merit your contempt, * for 
thus endeavouring to rmp'ofe upon your un- 
derftandings, ,but alib rerfder myfelf ridicu- 
loufly confpicuous, by a feeble attempt to 
perform that; for which, as well by nature 
as long eitablilhed habit/ I am totally dif- 
qualified. 

On the o'thef hand, I fhould efteefn myfelf 

equally meriting your cenfufe, as being guilty 

of a flagrant fpecies of ingratitude, were I to 

omit availing myfelf of fo favourable an op- 

A 3 portunity 






vi DEDICATION. 

portunity as now prefents itfelf of expreffmg 
the refpect and veneration I entertain for 
you, refulting from the very extenfive and 
ample encouragement with which you have 
crowned my indefatigable exertions to ob- 
tain your patronage, by largely contributing 
to the diffufion of fcience and rational enter- 
tainment, on fuch moderate terms as were 
heretofore unknown. 

Permit me to indulge the pleafing hope, 
that when I afiert my mind is deeply im- 
prelTed with the moft grateful fcnfe of the 
obligation, I fhall be honoured with credit. 
If this opinion be well founded, to enlarge 
on the fubject were fuperfluous if other- 
wife, the flrongeft arguments, the mo{l 
fplendid and forcible language could convey, 
would not enfure conviction ; I .therefore 
defifl, fully perfuaded that the moft fatisfac- 
tory demon ftration I can poffibly exhibit of 
the fincerity of this declaration, will bej an 
inviolable adherence to that uniform line of 

conduct 



DEDICATION 1 , fail 

condiiclt which has already fecured your ap- 
probation to a degree eminent as unprece- 
dented, and which is indeed daily rendered 
more evident, by a progrefiive increafe in the 
number and extent of your commands ; truft- 
ing, that fo long as you find my practice 
invariably correfpondent to thofe profeffions 
fo frequently exhibited to your notice (from 
which to* deviate would render me unworthy 
your protection) you will, in defiance of all 
malignant oppofition, firmly perfevere in the 
liberal fupport of him whofe primary ambi- 
tion it is, and during life fhall be, to diftin- 
guifh himfelf as, 

WORTHY PATRONS, 
Your much obliged, 

Ever grateful, 
And devoted humble fervant; 

Chifwell-Street, 

oaoben 79 r. JAMES LAGKINGTON, 



viii DEDICATION. 

2. To that part of the numerous body of 

BOOKSELLERS of Great Britain and 
Ireland, whofe conduct JUSTLY claims 
the additional title of RESPECTABLE ; 

Whofe candour and liberality he has in numerous in- 
ftances experienced, and feels a fenfible pleafure in thus 
publicly acknowledging. 

And laftly (though not leail in Fame) 

3. To thofe fordid and malevolent BOOK- 

SELLERS, whether they refplendent 
dwell in ftately manfions, or in wretched 
huts of dark and grovelling obfcurity j 

" I'll give every one a fmart lafti in my way." 

To whofe afliduous and unwearied labours to injure his 
reputation with their brethren and the public, he is in a 
confiderable degree indebted for the confidence repofed in 
.him, and the fuccefs he has been honoured with, produc- 
tive of his prcfent profperity, 

.THESE MEMOIRS 

, 
are, with all due difcrimination of the refpedhve merits 

. 
of each, 

Infcribed by 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



" To print, or not to print ? that is the queftion : 

* Whether 'tis better in a trunk to bury 

" The quirks and crochets of outrageous fancy, 

" Or" fend a well-wrote copy to the prefs, 

" And, by difclofing, end them ? 



" For who would bear th' impatient thirft of fame, 
" The pride of confcious merit, and 'bove all, 
. " The tedious importunity of friends 

" To groan and fweat under a load of wit ? 

" The Critics do make cowards of us all." JAGO. 

CUSTOM, it has been repeatedly obferved 
by many of my worthy (and fome per- 
haps unworthy) predeceflbrs in authormip, 
-has rendered a preface almoft indifpeniibly 
neceflary j while others again have as fre- 
quently remarked, that * e cujlom is the law of 
fools" Thofe confiderations induced me to 
hefitate whether I mould u/her my perform- 
ance into the world with a preface, and thus 

hazard 



xii P R E F A C E. 

hazard being clafTed with the adherents to 
that law, or by omitting it, efcape the op- 
probrium, for " who Jball decide <when dottors 
difazree ?" Now though I would not take 

.7 <b O 

upon' me to decide in every point in which 
doctors difagree, yet after giving the prefent 
fubject that mature confideration which fo 
important a concern required, I thought my- 
felf fully competent to decide, if not to 
general fatisfadtion, at leaft fo as fully to fa- 
tisfy one particular perfon, for whom I pro- 
fefs to have a very great regard, though per- 
haps few are to be found who would be 
equally condefcending to him ; who that per- 
fon is I do not wifli publicly to declare, as 
(being a very modeft man ) it might offend 
him, I mall only fay, the more you read the 
memoirs contained in the following pages, 
the better you will become acquainted with 
him. I ground my decifion on thefe argu- 
ments : I concluded, as moil of my brethren 
of the quill da of their labours, that my 

per- 



PREFACE. xi 

performance pofTefTed fo much intrinfic me- 
rit, as would occafion it to be univerfally 
admired by all good judges, as a prodigious 
effort of human genius, and that this ap- 
probation mufl naturally excite the envy 
of fome authors, who had not met with 
that high applaufe they deemed themfelves 
entitled to, and incline them to fearch for 
imperfections in my work, and though I was 
perfuaded of the impofTibility of their finding 
any, yet being thus foiled, they might 
catch at the want of a preface, and conftrue 
that into an omiflion, fo that in order to 
difarm them, I refolved to have one, efpe- 
cially as thofe who deem prefaces unneceiiary 
may, if they choofe, decline reading it, 
\vhilft thofe on die other fide of the quefHon, 
if there was none, might be diiappointed, 
^nd have caufe for complaint j but to be 
ferious (if I can). 

Almoft every author on producing ths 
effufions of his pen (and his. brain if he ha? 

any) 



xii PREFACE, 

any) thinks it prudent to introduce himfelf 
by a kind of Prologue, as it may be called, 
ftating his reafons with due precifion for 
intruding himfelf on his readers (whether 
true or otherwife, is not always material ta 
enquire) befpeaking their candour towards 
his weakness and imperfections (which 
by the bye, few authors are fo fenfible of 
as their readers) and not unfrequently 
endeavouring to foothe thofe GOLIAHS 
in literature, ycleped critics, (with whom not 
many little Davids are found hardy enough 
to contend) hoping thus to coax them 
into good humour ; or, perhaps, if his vanity 
preponderates, he throws the gauntlet of 
defiance, with a view of terrifying them 
either to hold their peace, or to do jufHce to 
thofe mighty abilities he is confident he 
poflefles in a degree eminently fuperior tp 
moil of his brethren. 

For my own part, I difclakn adopting 
either of thefe modes : convinced, that in 

the 



PREFACE. xiu 

the firft cafe, every reader, whatever thQ 
author may plead, will, (and indeed ought) 
to judge for himfelf; and with regard to 
profefled critics, were I fo difpofed (which 
I am not) neither my natural or acquired 
abilities enable me to bully thofe who muft 
be yery ill qualified for their tafk, if they 



were thus to be intimidated from declaring 
their real fentiments ; and, on the other hand, 
to affect a degree of humility, and by flattery 
o aim at warping their minds, is, in my 
opinion, paying them a yery bad com 
pliment. 

So much for others- now fpr myfelf : 
Never mould I have ventured to appear in 
this habit before the public, had not the 
following motives urged me thereto : 

Many friends have frequently expreffed 
a, defire of obtaining from myfelf fuch par- 
ticulars as they could rely on, of my pafTage 
through life, and many enemies (for fuch 
I have in common with other men, from 

the 



omr 

; O.t 
? O3OT 



xlv PREFACE. 

the monarch down to due poor tobler) 
have been induftrious in propagating what- 
ever reports they thought would beft tend 
to impede my farther progrefs j among the 
reft, the editors of a periodical publication 
now on the decline (whether defervedly or 
not, let others determine) thought proper 
. to exhibit me as they have done many much 
more eminent and diitinguimed characters, 
in a literary portrait, containing a few out- 
lines it is true, but with fome features which 
they muft have known to be falfe. 

After having been repeatedly threatened by 
a very particular friend and others, that if 
J declined drawing up a narrative, they 
were determined to do it for me, the firft 
mentioned gentleman prevailed on me (as 
the moft likely mode to bring it to a period) 
to devote now and then a fpare hour in mi- 
nuting down fome of the moft material oc- 
currences of my life, and to fend them to 
him in an epistolary form, intending to digeft 

the 



PREFACE. xv 



the whole into a regular narrative for 
lication; that gentleman, however, on pe- 
rufal, was of opinion, that it would be 
additionally acceptable to the curious part 
of the public, if exhibited to them in the 
plain and iimple manner in which thefe let- 
ters were written, as thus tending to difplay 
fucli traits and features of a fomewhat ori- 
ginal character, and give a more perfect 
idea of " I, great I, the little hero of each 
tale," than any other mode that could have 
been adopted; efpecially, as many intelligent 
perfons were confident I could not write at 
all, while others kindly attributed to me 
what I never wrote. 



Then think, 



" That he v/ho thus is forc'd to ("peak, 

" Lnlefs commanded, would have dy'd in hlence". 

If among the multitude of memoirs under 
which the prefs has groaned, and with 
wkkh it ftill continues to be tortured, the 
following meets fhbuld afford ibme degree 

of 



bus fhB Yin 

as a relaxation rom. mar* 

.:- ' 




- ,_____, ,. oropofite^ defcrip^ 

&. 'fcma& u ol ibdr.n. kid 

tr to be pieafed with the Mt& 
i feg/Jtitatt...^ tfi 

) an*r he mould deem it not . the 
a* ion jfliw kifi t or> vsnt ii * 
tlie molt expenfive amons; th 
,;.: ', J wart'I -, v - , 



nor 

rm. 
iH/yn 

ogjsa 
rewaraea 

310HJ 



iff- tnoe, I mall efteem myfelf amply 
bmHJfi fUiw rnsfU vlqqiJt TO gjaftUMR- 

I; had I, however, been difpofea 
.fis oiorw f&u^i Jbnlt^T 3iom flai/ra ,Ooop 
to be more attentive tp entertainment,. and. 
s^om fbwra t viJiw. jyiom nourn .joiaarai 

|els to veracity, 1 might, to many> have ren- 



, - , 

dereS it m^m^^ee^bl^^ 

fetisfadory to myfelf, as I believe the ob/ej- 

'/ iff 10 9IW isisiq X2" J l3ft!9l 
long fmce^ade^0 be 3 ^ 

are 



i_* JjJj-I J^tv> V*^ *^J'-'A> -* * ^' A ** I - i ** * 

may be gleaned from their perujiil. 

Should the insignificance of /;/y li^ 
diice any perjpn better ^lualinea 

the wofict with r Wj-abig. with . iatereftke 
tomniwahao yd bsf55H3 Sd Vrn iwWrWMlRBf 



tions of 
'^fcne 



any'fuccefs or emolument which can poflibly 

wife 



PREFACE. xvii 

arife from this, my firft, and mod probably 
laft, eflay as an author. 

If unfortunately any of my kind readers 
fhould find the book fo horrid dull and 
jlupidy that they cannot get through it, 
or if they do, and wifh not to travel the 
fame road again, I here declare my perfect 
readinefs to fupply them with abundance of 
books, much more learned, much more en- 
tertaining, much more witty, much more 
whatever they pleafe, they never lhall 
want books while L. is able to affifl them; and 
whether they prefer one of his writing, or 
that of any other author, he protefts he will 
not be in the fmalleft degree offended : let every 
author make the fame declaration if he can. 

Should my memoirs be attended with no 
other benefit to fociety, they will at leafl tend 
to mew what may be effected by a perfevering 
habit of induftry, and an upright confcientious 
demeanour in trade towards the public, and 
probably infpire feme-one, of perhaps fuperior 
a. abilities, 



M B B a <S B. 

k laudable ambidon, to emerge 
from ; obiojrity, by a proper .application of 

klence has fa- 
it and emolument, 



fucb?#ii bhejil/evepihay^qnijever m^U wifli 
every po^ble'^fucc^fs^ oals dt; has uniformly 
that loiWiatever is thus 
> honourable, ltd ; lid paoties 
^ i the; -'poiMabn J6;w 



to my o 

t&fee of my dedication. This 
publication it is to be expe<5ted will ten^j^o 
excite fome degree of mirth in them. ; Qon- 
^fcious that I have often been the caufe 
(however unihtentional on my part) of ex- 
lefs pleafing fenfations :in the^ t ,, fji w?Jl 
.' allow them full fcope ; however, ac- 
&cordigiiito the well known adage, ," r )IfS t 

' them 



B B E I! & S- 

fao afefa&M I Mpe 
'indulge 
ing,, if 



to, entitle them -to 
clafs .of ^- 



-ifoj th^amodi > ofi !co 
bprfBdi|-iawd ttoofdhodao 






f Qt large aai 

lo 33ig3b amol 33i 

person JbyJB 



^*^^ 



a 2 







weapons : . 

will J|iayetl^mf)r^cati(pp 

^vhilft they become ^iefts of co^empt in 

the eyes of the 



as long af|jn^9ok, as . i^<^fenffi w ^ gff 

feniors 

though not 



10 
I will the ; rq^re 1; cgn^4^^ with a \yiflp |hat 

my readers >-nay-njoy the feaft with the lame 
good humour with which I have prepared it ; 
they will meet with fome folid though not 
much coarfe food, and the major part, I hope, 
3HT Ught 



P R E F A C E. 

light and eafy of digeftion ; thofe with keen 
appetites ^"fffi' 
others mo^flffiSafl? 



forty-fix diflies of various 



ffiipffitdent of a modern 

ftrikin* likenefs of their Cook into the baltgiM, 

liurn 



a 3 THE 



.8 T M a T M O 



-Dfi ns |ninirfnoD <nobib3 bnoD^2 orb oi .33A33.H1 

adT .sialbljJood nusJi3D lo BubnoD arfl lo 

-lijo eirl oJ sbuJiJBig eiH .snarfao o) 

-nqai balni^q ion aiaw anobibbs srtt 

xixxx agcq 

'ZiiomoM aid no noigni^osvl .iM ol alftiq3 

iivxl 3s 



,.$il ziri gnirftilduq 10! gavilom a'lodluA 3HT 
nO '*.*Wwt&0 i\aSiRftA '* 9d3 ni ^\t\tft<^ R no 
bns " t it^t^ bruj a'iil w g'noJnuCI 



,11 3TT3J 

3on rfnid aid is msmrfHnoflB aid aaftsiqxs loibi/A ariT 
adl "io fialgan sd? bns ^bafiibaiq naad gnivfid 
no A(golu3 .^tiviiwi aid gniteholso ion ni 

.rbiid zuoiDilufi bns ol^ans aiH S 8i3ilfn3odl bnf 



CONTENTS. 



PREFACE to the Second Edition, containing an ac- 
count of the conduct of certain bookfellers. The 
author's thanks to others. His gratitude to his cuf- 
tomers. Why the additions were not printed fepa- 
parately. page xxxix 

Poetical Epiftle to Mr. Lackington on his Memoirs- 

page Ixvii 

LETTER I. 

THE Author's motives for publifhing his life. Remarks 
on* a portrait in the " Scandalous Chronicle" On John 
D union's " life and errors" and errors, of others, 

page 49 

LETTER II, 

The Author cxprefles his aftonifhment at his birth not 

having been predicted, and the. neglect of the adepts 

in not calculating his nativity. Eulogy on taylors 

and fhoemakers. His genealogy and aufpicious birth. 

a 4 Cenfurc 



xxir C O N T E N T S. 

Cenfure of his and other bad fathers. Dies unregret- 
ed by his children. Encomium on his mother, page 55 



rfo "io 2TBl0Dbiq 

oiad urO .si/lna ?3i}f?W!?fio'/ -isrbcrts st^^noO 
Our hero's juvenile exploits. Becomes agent to an emi- 

n^n^/V merchant. More ingenious^exploits. Elopes. 
Is by his father initiated into the gentle craft. page 63 

JIV JTTTF3J 



lo bnfm V L >iiinA3Bo aftfborfjgm 3.ri T' 

noivvnocL I' 7 ' ' 'v^^q Jnsocnnf yts^ 

A horrid fpeilre appears. Rendered harmlefs by, the ya- 

lour of our hero. His opinion of fupcrnatural .appear- 
ances. Story of a black and a ^ukite deviL J^s confe- 
quences prove fatal. A hoiifii haunted 
bajlinadoedj and publicly exhibited, 
haunted, and the ghoft difcovered. A^shp^.fcndc of 
poultry^ detected. Sagacious remarks ,Qn;,th fub^ecl:. 
An hpfpital haunted. page 68 

JIIV JI3TT3J 
LETTER V. 

vlinivib "io ybuft srii ol noiisoiiqqK bjgn a'oiajrf iuC 
1 he CAT /rf '.mtxftbe -bag. Mr. Higley's ghoWl " ^ur 
hero transfbnne^rmtoalfipiftdiM'^ertrnanacks. Is b'bifnd 
, .apprentice to- a fhcriihakertJivOhaf^er of- the family. 
Remarks on dull inanimate preachers. page 83 

.XI .H3TT3J 



l iirf \d bsnsilfirf laftem aid 
noilubnoD ftt ' vtw 



bsd i3ffeo 



Farther particulars of the family. Contents of their li- 
brary. One of thEIfaiAfyTaoafrferted to methodifm. 
Converts another. Controverfies enfue. Our hero 
IJ feMis to read. 



f ;q ,i\ 

LETTER VII. 

The methodifts ofteft^?ain 5l: SJe 1 ^ace of mind of many 

very innocent people. Mcthodiftical conviction, a 

* dreadful ftatc. Should only take place in rafcals. A 

' terrible inftance of a r,:al guilty confcicnce attended 



ar 



prophecy of the end of the world on a certain day. An~ 
y trfe?l<ffefe\ fijf. "Panalfcs have m every 
account in ftich prcdiaions. Mrs. Nor- 
to Rcilly the preacher fet afide, 



LETTER VIII. 
V ^3TT34 

Our hero's rigid application to the ftudy of divinity. 
ltj ^ecofl^^ an able and 



ith Hsiiforft 



LETTER IX. 

Death of his mafter haftened by his fons turning method- 

ifts. Charitable conclufion thereon. Gives full fcope 
H3TT3JL 

too 



xxvi; CONTENTS. 

to methodifm. Some particulars of the practices of 
Mr. Wefley's fociety. Prayer meetings. Love feafts. 
Private meetings. page 177 

ait) ^d bsijhuq 11 lo aboM ,qirHbn? ; -il 
I3ji;ri3 baW. .3-d3fb o* it'll v fbi 

^*p ^ 

Watch nights. Clafles. Bands. 'An old luck tempted by the 

it and his maid. Select bands. Tickets. page 125 
bnahi JH ,mliborl}3m oiiu - 

-refi.'i bns T3f!.io-jd ?.iii rbiv/ ' 
V\ i'l^^^i^f^ER^-xi^ ^?*^ 

lei 

The fubj eel: of methodifm continued. Our herofuddenly 
becomes a backflider. An election for members of par- 
liament. His freedom'' purcftafe'd^ ; Riot. Diflipation. 
rfe. Vifits Wellington and Briftpl. Returns to 

'..:: 

Our hero enamoured. Accompanied by 
ir one to Bridgewater, to Uxbridge. Leaves 

Arrives at Briftol. Purfued by parifh . 
< tj*Vi ?t 
capes. - ' page 

vx r,.H '' 

LETTER XII. 
.olirlq ari'l .by nbfi.bris zbz?i nisd p iuO. 

Story of an amorous gentleman and a blundering oftler. 
Strange ftory of Mr. Balwin. Plis death. Story of 
ipraying a perfon to death. Fortune-teller foretold a 
I parfon's death. Of tri fling with the jives/of pur fdvicfev- 
airl ti sluslqqfi ** eniuidO page 143 
no niKi^iq^ .nififqfiffo ^iH .3ihw oj^^w^ 
-Igni^i 33VE3 J .icoq ? ^ ttviJ. .loriot') 

LETTER 



hisfei 




lo afifiluoiJiB arnoS .mliborftsm. ol 



Our hero forms a friendfhip. Mode of life purfued by the 
friend-. His firft vifit to a theatre. Ned Shuter was a 
msth.Q4i. Mr. WhiffiSd Wole to attend Shuter's 



ous ftudents. 

Our hero relapfes into methodifcn. His friend difplea- 
fed; is however with his brother and fifler converted. 
Story of a wetbodijl ft yr otftTffaty-jmighty's little mutton. 

page 153 

s(lnabbiA oiari toO .bauniJnoD mliboibam lo Baleful 3/fT 
--LSO lo eisdmam iol norfiob nA 



lafthS ba noisniUa-W gjihV . ^ftomsX 

lUcr, ana our hero form an union, t urfue 

vio-oroufly. Their furious library. Our 
r/s Jucubr aprons" nearly attended with fatal confe- 



LETTER XV. 



.II X a 

Our hero reads and admires the ftoic?, 5tc. The philo- 



rekd 

watery nvhoiilheiBi/tfotd.ins .rfJosh. oJ 
Tauntou, 

tnaftcr k ; Obtains gfat applaufe fer his 
bjmfdfto write. His chaplain. Epigram on a method- 
ifl preacher. Lives gay. Becomes poor. Leaves Kingf- 

bridare. 



xxviii CONTENTS. 

bridge. Goes to Exeter, Bridgewarer, BriftoJ. Very 
drolljlory of Mr, Whitefield. page 175 

-n? ^d f>:-voiq 9fto IsaioqioD oJ olcfiinsbiq $Li\h fetnam A 
.tiS^Ofti 'my* oxsd : ,?3n3mugifi tikf JTavoitno'J 

.^di! ttcvhq glr^oyiolSS) <fSc% V -..aiH 

His amours. In love with a dairy-maid. Their fpiritual 
courtfhip. Lofes her for a time. Attaches himfelf to 
another holy feller. They differ. page 187 

.IXX 




LETTER XVJI. 

The correfpondence with the fair dairy-maid renewed. She 
arrives at Briftol. They vifit the temple of Hymen. Be- 
gin the world with a halfpenny, love, and contentment. 

-alofrfii' '.-o fu?w bojsjflulli 

"\R vd b3^OBljA .bsnwq ton 

^feTWi xvni. '^ 

Ji . 

Our hero and his bride confined with ficknefs. He foon re- 
covers. She continues long ill. His anxiety on the oc^ 
cafion. Their repeated journey to Taunton and back a- 
gain. He fets out for and arrives .at London. - page 199 

LETTER XIX. 

He is introduced to the rnethodifts. Shoked at the depraved 
mode of life in the metropolis. His confolation. Mi^'L. 
arrives in town. She obtains work. Anecdote -of -an 'b6&gft 

falefman. Our hero's grandfather dies. A large 1'^fcy. 

' He goes to receive it, Loofes part of it in returning. 
Commits a faux pas, page 205 

dT 

LETTER 



C O NT E N T S. 

c.Z T rf a TW ' 



A mental feaft preferable to a corporeal one provsd by in- 
controvertible arguments. Our hero turns lookfeUer. 
His motive, for fo doing. Catalogue cf his private library. 
expofad for fal 

vanity. 

.laftib ysriT 
LETTER XXI. 

Succefs attends our bookfellerl ( StLtfk: enlarged by a loan. 
Inftances of frugality. Rapid increafe of ftock. 
to ChLfwelL Street. Farewel to gentle craft. S 
cor.fcience in a bookfcller ! Learned differtation qn^bar- 

. ^ain,-^.unters, illuftrated with cafes in point. Pawnbrok- 
ers fell things not pawned. Attacked by a fevere illnefs. 
Mrs. L. taken ill. Her, 4eath, jajid. -character. Our hero 
recovers. page 221 

-5i nool aH .atambfl riiiw banflnoD sbiid eirl bne owri TuO 

*oo irii no 



Obfen'ations on 
feveral wr/w 
factually minded, and -^-- 
thodifts at Wellington, and war Q^rd^^-A 
&& converted, pr.d . 

?os - 

LETTER 
fl3fT.il. 



CO N-.TvE.NT-.jB. 
LETTER XXIV. 



a^mtoli^pi^ tfchfe tittrwife by 
ufciici. ^ Recovers. 
Particulars of her and her family. Rer filial pity. Induftry. 
Fondnefs for books, )uritero obtains this valuable prize. 
no erred ark gnihfig-rf yd rksddjjg arfo gride- page 244 



LETTER XXV. 

nd p 

,him 



Reflections on late "events "and pfeieht happinefs. Reads 



f. r , his attention. Quits the fociety. of .methodifls. 

Abftinence taught by their pre^c^rsn Thejc.pwn 

- practice the reverfe* Milk-woman drove mad. A book- 

feller has bis hair dre{fcd an Saturday nighty and Jteeps 

all night in his elbow tlwr. Job? Biggs a perfe&l man, his 

ariT .ios) gnflfiaiDni nc c^R^v.^ 1 
mliborb-^ni ol elol 13/tjons fassb e'nob 
LETTER XXVI. 



The alarm raifed aft&ft^^WSSSSs? Their pious anxiety 
for his fpiritual ^welfare. A. ^95 ^P 5 to P reac ^. ^ 
comfortable quotation from Mr. Hill. Our hero treats 
them with contempt and ridicule. They coniign bbn to 

an Swift's curious 'huucro::s verfes en a 
-d Dlsilia JnnvrJT icTl .galnsi isdTo, 



A 



^t no s 
d LETTER 



CONTENTS. xxxi 



LETTER XXVII. 

The author's general opinion of the Methodifts favourable. 
Many hypocrites among them. Reflexions on their con- 
duit towards condemned criminals. Cautions againft deal- 
ing with thofe exposing pious {hop-bills. A pious dealer 
in rumps, burs, and fheep's heads. Another in tripe,, and 
cow-heels. A third, a rat-killer. A pious common coun- 
cilman. A methodift tics the legs of his cpcks to prevent 
their breaking the Sabbath by treading the hens on 
Sundays. page 269 

.VXX JT3TT3J 



.abniqqfiri i msaJnl no 

^^^' l ^ tt ^^.^]^isS^ The contention 
among his pious biographers. His annual income. Dif- 
regard of wealth! "''' Extenfive charity. Learning .and 
abilities. Remarks on his " primitive phyfic." Dan- 
gerous tendency of that work. Dom Pernoty's v/onder- 
ful receipts. Mr. Wcfley ruhd defpotically. His de- 
ceafe likely to prove injurious to methodifm. Sweden- 
borgians an increafmg feet. The Countefs of Hunting- 
don's death another lofs tomethodifm. page 278 

XX >OTT 



o:q ibr-- LETTER XXIX. ; 

.riasgiq 01 aaibfi lolv^j A siclh ? f suii-i fn> iH ^<s : l 
triftures on Mr. Welley's preachers. Extreme igno- 

rance of many of them. Suited to that of their hearers. 
Fatal effects of their enthufiafm. A woman deprived 
ofherfenfes. Her fervant killed by fafling. One eats 
afs's flelh for ccnfcicnce' fake. A preacher fets the 
devil's houfe on fire. Preaches, but i$ violently expelled 
Jr his 



xxxii CONTENTS. 

his portable pulpit. Numbers qualifying thcmfelves in 
Moorfields for preachers. Some fuccccd to prcfajjbrjhips 
in Betblem college, tipple and iron-merchants transformed 
into preachers. Methodift conference. Mr. Wefley 
appoints the circuits for all his preachers. How they 
are maintained. Their Wages, &c. Poem on them. 

page 19* 

LETTER XXX. 

Account of an extraordinary pamphlet. Quotations from 
it. Anecdotes of Mr. Wefley and his preachers, dif- 
covering their hypocrify. Large fums collected for Kingf- 
wood fchool, never applied to that ufe. Methodift con- 
verfion ridiculed. Mr. Wefley's character. An epicure. 
A deift. Collected fome hundred thoufand pounds a 
year. Two extraordinary letters by Mr. Wefley. 

page 304 

LETTER XXXI. 

Our hero's narrative refumed. Mrs. L.'s attachment and 
attention to the bufmefs. He enters "into par tnerflif p. 
Confiderably mcreafe their flock. Publifh a catalogue, 
. which is laughed at by feme, damned by others. The 
partners feparate on terms of friendship, which con- 
tinued till Mr. D.'s death. Character of him. page 346 

LETTER XXXII- 

Inconveniences attending tradefmen giving credit. Re- 
folution formed to fell very cheap, and for 

money 
- ;.-'; 



1 fftoney only. The Various difficulties encountered 

thereby. '-: ^'- page 335 

ilti*A mm-twit bo* w^ .v^^ * * 
M .9*w1a ftiixxnaM *nfaMri otoi 

LETTER ' 

rax/i ,3 



The author's fale of books confiderably increafes. A 
difficulty not forefeen. Many, though willing to buyj 
fcrupulous of fellingisffoift'ffflQifk.en idea. CoVetou* 
dealers. Liberal dealers. The author's plan for pur- 
chafing libraries. ,iri<jittsq fuait>io*Ttx in 



LETTER 
009 ftifetoM -'jlu Muib <4 bsJlqqs van t tood ji boow 

A praoUce of bookfellers dejlroying great numbers of books, 

<. The author leiblves to adopt a mode for prefervingfi&m. 

Enmity created thereby. The happy confequcuces tc 

. }]im, ilje public, and bookfellers. page 346 



.ixxx 

LETTER XXXV. 
bn Jnwnrtojajfi *.J .tiM .baraiAai avhmsn: aVttd inO 

Renoarks on purchafmg manufcripts . Bookfellers li-beral-ity 
3iBftaeS- of k Authors form great expectations, lie 
ttiarkable -anecdotes. Authors publilhing and felling 
tjieir own prodaftions never anfweijs. Bookfellers often 
hurt the fale' rfMbtottO Ji* 8\a .iM IIuIBflbtf 3f 



a , sahra awAihirJ ^TnH.ttjttc .^DGsin^^padL 
A vaft increafe of cuftpmers. Attended with proportion- 
able expences. Enumeration of immensely large pur- 
chafes made, Author intimidated, refolves to difccn.- 
b contintti 



continue fuch purchafes. A torrent of bufinefs occafions 
him to alter that refolution, and perfeverein purchafing 



bility of meeting with a rival. page 361 



cJX -H3TT3J 
LETTER XXXVII. 
bns ejfloiq auf gniteft lo abom 
H$w QUK 



of his ftudies. No pretender 
to erudition. His attention to theatrical entertainments. 
Translations of the daffies,. To novels. To natural 
philofophy. A rational aflembly. Eulogy on one of its 
members. Reflections on the difadvantages of want of 
education, and otherifldgej8l.TT3 1 page 367 



>ih'$*vti a*iori3xJE ariT 
ensq zii^l^wSSraTOjsv lo 

g 3tb nobno 
>f theworli. 

ner of the author's .acquiring that knowledg 

. feller's hop an ex^llent fchool. Defcant on the variety 

x p^ ^iftf s r i|i pjjj(^a^ng of books. Sale of ^gpk^^ch 

affected by the ftate of politics. Farmers read. Ex- 

ceedingly encreafed of late years. Book clubs. Sunday 

fchools. If enlightening the lower orders will make them 

er. page 

moil mlbvini ni sio 



3fi BETTER XXXIX 
'to qill 7213; ^ k _ " \ o zisv'nb 

The" progrefs of the author's expences proportioned- ^ta^fis 
encreafe of income. Kind obfervations made thereon-. 
different modes of accounting for his profperity. 

The 



CONTENTS. 

The real caufe. Reflexions on the miferable lives and 
: "unhappy end of fome opttlent tradefmen, Addrefs to covet- 
ous tradefmen. Annual profits t>f the author. page 39^ 
- j .kvh s ffaiw snitoam lo vliiid 



LETTER XL. 

Ji/xxx 

The author's mode of ftating his profits and expences. 
Hints and mfmuations for him to decline bufmefe. Hti 
reafons for not doing it. His atfentiorf to poor -re- 
lations. Proofs that his mode of felling feas not* keen 
injurious, but beneficial to the trade. 

?li }o ano no ^olu3 ^WmaRfi knoh^i A 

lo Jnsw lo aasjnfivbfilib ark no 



The author's travels. Remarks on marvellous travellers. 
Scarcity of valiltbYe x &&ks i^Wkrl^us parts of Great 
Britain. London the grand emporium. Induftry and 




remarkable crow's neft af Newcaffle: ' OF : a~^otfng 
" lady born deaf' and dumb. The Bi^rnk^ a remedy for 
fcolds, defcribed, with a cut. Propef Remarks, page 41 1 
-x3 .DB31 ziami^'i .aobiloq llo 3Jft sd) ^d bof;>9fl 
^fibnu2 .zduh AooQ, .aisay SJB! lo 
mark 33im Iliw 



ls( iW. 
in travelling from Darlington to Durham. FM- 

lofopbical reflections thereon, and-on ihe carelefihefs of 
drivers of ftages/ A lady killed. An unlucky flip of 



absm anoijBVisldo W\5l .smooni lo 

,v3mqknq eid ic-lt 2^afo?o io zsbom 
b 2 , 

9fl 1 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLIII. 

The author's apology. Ladies allowed full licence to 
fcream on certain terms. His politenefs contrafted with 
that of Dr. Johnfon. Various anecdotes of the Doctor. 
Hints to the authors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica 
and Biographica Britannica. Remarks on Dr. Jokn- 
fon's prejudice againft the Scotch nation. The au- 
thor's opinion on that fubjech Defcant on the French 
Revolution. Edinburgh. North Britifh hofpitality 
applauded. page 431 

LETTER XLIV. 

Panegyric on WOMEN. More handfome women feen 
in Scotland, among the higher clafles than elfewhere. 
Not fo with the inferior ranks. Curious mode of 
wafhing linen. Maid fervants in Edinburgh and Lon- 
don contrafted. page 449 

LETTER XLV. 

Journey to Taunton, Wellington, &c. The author's 
viiits to his old mafters. Meets with abundance of 
old acquaintance whom he had never before feen. Is 
kindly received by the more refpectable inhabitants. 
Behaviour of fome petty gentry, real gentlemen act dif- 
ferently. A remarkable prediction. Another by an 
adept in palmiftry. Narrowly efcapes being killed by 
the explofion of powder mills. Unexpectedly meets with 
two very old friends in diftrefs. An affecting fcene. 

Symmonds's 



CONTENTS. xxxvii 

Syramonds's Barrow, near Wellington, brought by the 
devil in his leathern apron. Others in his glove, page 456 



LETTER XLVI. 

Remarks on watering places. Abfurd pra&ices of many 
invalids attending them. Different modes of fpend- 
ing time. Powerful effedt produced on horfes. Ex- 
cellent academies for fervants. Vifit to Weymouth. 
Finds their Majefties there. Account of Mr. 
Hughes, manager of the theatre. The amphitheatre 
near Dorchefter, Camps. Fortifications. Barrows. 
tonehenge. Encomium on Mr. Keenan. A prayer. 

page 471 






b 3 PREFACE 

' 



3 A "* 3 # 1 

3HT OT 

VL o i T i a a a K o D 3 



. ni- t ?.'3 

..iadj t sJnw oiiw siorij 10*5 JV 
nfsv ; . b'eiiq 3i'^9d:tli bnA * t 

ntBgB 9ihw ^grfi sno oJ nsJ eiT* '* 
t oisr* riiiw 13*0 Jt f)R3i ^9'di ftsril bnA >l 
"'.OTorfj 2rthf>B bnu , 



bf.> 

to alfib biiril a 
b'n- 1 b ** SEW ii 

i 

-luonorl 
bfl 

\(m SIB orlw 
nsiiw 



t b3fftilduq isnool on 
ni banobnam t 
j Juo bnuo^ ^ 
rf} "! wol b'n b 

o* 3ft ^Ino bnfi t 
anil 0} to <yi 



,9m barmoini 



PREFACE 

TO THE 
SECOND-EDITION. 



" 'Tis nothing ne\v, I'm ftire you know, 
" For thofe who write, their works to (how ; 
" And if they're prais'd, and render 'd vain, 
*' 'Tis ten to one they write again : 
" And then they read it o'er with care, 
*' Cprrefting here, and adding there," 

Mrs. SAVAGE. 



former edition of my Memoirs was 
no fooner publimed, than my old envi- 
ous friends, mentioned in the third clafs of 
my dedication, found out that it was " d n'd 
fluff! d n'd low!' 1 the production of a 
cobler, and only fit to amufe that honour- 
able fraternity, or to line their garrets and 
flails : and many gentlemen, who are my 
cuflomers, have informed me, that when they 
afked for them at feveral mops, they recei- 
b 4 ved 



xl P R E F A C E TO THE 

ved for an anfwer, that they had. already too 
much wafte paper, and would not increafe 
it by keeping Lackington's Memoirs: and 
fome kindly added, " You need not be in a 
hafte to purchafe, as in the courfe of the 
Chriftmas holidays, Mr. Birch in Cornhill 
will wrap up all his mince-pies with them, 
and diftribute them through the town for the 
public good." But the rapid fale of this 
Life foon caufed them to alter their ftories : 
and I was very much furprifed to hear that 
feveral of thofe gentlemen, who had fcarce 
done exclaiming, tf Vile traih! beneath all 
criticifm!" &c. began to praife the compo- 
fition ; and on looking into the Englifh Re- 
view, I found that the editors had filled fe- 
ven pages in reviewing thofe Memoirs, and 
had beflowed much praife on the author. I 
was then ready to conclude, that their ge- 
nerous and manly impartiality had, in a mira- 
culous manner, effected the converfion of 
others. But I was foon convinced, that 

mean- 



SECOND EDITION. *U 

jneannefs can never be exchanged for gene- 
rofity ; and that thofe that had been " un- 
clean were unclean flill ;" or, as Church- 
hill fays, 
3fh Jo 

" That envy, which was woven in the frame 

" At firft, will to the laft remain the fame. 

" Reafon may drown, may die, but envy's rage, 

." Improves with time, and gathers ftrength from age." 

It feems that feveral of thofe liberal-mind- 
ed men, being prodigioufly mortified at the 
encreafing fale of my Life, applied to dif- 
ferent authors in order to get one of them to 

ff 4~ 4 

father my book : but thofe authors, either 
from principle, or from knowing that my 
manufcript was kept in my mop for the 
infpe&ion of the public, or for fome other 
motive, refufed to adopt the poor bantling : 
and not only fo, but laughed at, and expofed 
the mean contrivance, to the very great 
difappointment of thofe kind and boneft-hearted 

r 7 f 

fnends of mine* 

That 



Ixii PRlEF ACE TO THE 

That I might not be juftly charged with 
ingratitude, I take this opportunity 
Ing my friends, cuftomers, and the 
for their candid reception of my volume 5 
the falc of which, ancj the encomiums I have 
received on the- fubjea, fc>th by letter and 
otherwife, have far exceeded my moft fan- 
guine and felf- flattering expedationg ; I very 
fenfibly feel' the obligation. Their ngfinerb- 
fity has ^overwhelmed me, I am overpaid, 
agg remain th$ir4abtar.;>l 

noiiftoqlib 



,^* ^ai n 

ii warm overflowings of^a grateful heart : 
" Come good, cbme bad, wLIfe life or m8n*ry -lail, 



^ I 

oi rnarft pm 



B i ^ii oiq rna pm^BKi o 

But, left I fhould be over vain, I niuft at 

the fame time declare, that I have received 

"JJJOflJiW 93Bl3lH ?.IuT t)DUIpUOD jOffflli;) 



Mr. Weney's people, merely becaufe I 
exrx.fed.^heir ridiculous principles 9n d abfurd 
praftices ; but .more particularly, for having 

Sinol P" 11 " 3 



pulled off 

thofe 

theni^q ^rh fcrtE t 3t3mo:ftjJD ^sbnshlt 

The -numerous m^tmi 
I have 

demen,convlfl<*se 
the caufe of manly and rational chriftianity, nor 
was it ever my intention fo t^-Jfe) bn 3niir 

I here alfo prefent my cojri^lSs^i^^fii 
iancere thanks to my impartial' frfehcJ#/* \fl$ 
der the fecond clafs of my dedication, for 
the friendly difpofition they have fhewn, 
in freely distributing my Memoirs among 
their cuflomers, and they may be allured, 
that I will not let flip any opportunity 

of making them proper returns for all 
, . r t iiiBV T>VO 3Q bluorTl I Jlaf 
their favours, 

bs^v ispsi 2Yrl T ierfj a?fib2|& 3ni* 3f 
T cannbit conclude thi? Trelace wi 

r - r i^TOli 'i813JtQl. 3/riudE j 2JJp 

faying forriething about this fecond edition. 

iTT-ul olB03d -iYl^^rfkt 3 ^ 03 ^ \3>V3W -1 

When I put the firlt edition to the prefs, 

L_ _ a^I/Tj'^niirr sirn^iinihit li^rf} JbslOGX 

I really intended to print but a fmall num- 
ber; fo that when I was prevailed on, by 
; ^H fome 



Ixiv PREFACE TO 

fome of my friends, to print double the num- 
ber which I at firil propofed, I had not the leail 
idea of ever being able to fell the whole ; and 
of courfe had not any intention of printing 
a fecond edition. But the rapid fale of the 
work, and the many letters which I am 
continually receiving from Gentlemen, in va- 
rious parts of Great Britain and Ireland, who 
are pleafed to honour me with their appro^ 
bation and thanks, encouraged me to read the 
whole over with more attention, to correct 
fuch typographical errors as had efcaped my 
obfervation, and to improve the language in 

i_ i r i "^P 3 

numberlefs places. 

1 'V . 

In executing this plan, I perceived that I 
had omitted to introduce many things which 
would have been an improvement to the 
work , and while inferting them, others oc- 
curred to my memory, To that motf parts of 
the work is now very much enlarged. But 
although thefe additions have greatly increaf- 
cd the expences of printing arid paper, yet 
I hatfe not added any thing to the price. 

> To 



SECOND EDITION. Ixv 

To fuch as afk why thefe additions had not 
been printed feperately, to the end that fuch 
as purchafed the firft edition, might have 
had them without purchafmg the whole 
work over again ? I arifwer, had it been 
practical^, I would have done that -, but thofe 
additions being fo many, and fo various, 
rendered that method ridiculous, as every 
one who will take the trouble to compare 
the two editions, muft readily acknowledge ; 
jior can the purchafers of the former edition 
complain with refpecl: to the, price, it being 

. M 

equal in fize to moft new publications which 
are fold at Six Shillings. And although 
fome may think that the prefixed head is of 
no value, I can affure them, that 1 .am of 
a very different opinion, at kajl of the ori- 
ginal-, and I have the pleafure to add, that 
a very great number of my cuftomers have 
been highly pleafed to have fo ftriking a 
likenefs of their old bookfeller. Nor am I 
the firft bookfeller wfco has publifhe/1 his 



xlvi PREFACE, &c. 

head; Mr. Nicolfon (commonly called Maps,) 
bookfeller at Cambridge, two years fince, 
had his head finely engraven ; it is a good 
likenefs, and Is fold afc iosl 6dt Francis 
Kirkman, partner with Richard Hend (laft 
century) prefixed his portrait to a book, en- 
titled " The Wits, or Sport upon Sport.'- 
This Francis Kirkman alfo publifhed Me- 
moirs of his own Life, and probably led the 
way to John Duntpiv^m$^ng5&s Biogra- 
phical Hiftory of England, vol. iv. 

I could make" niUliyoThel 1 apologies 



" My judges are as merciful as juft : 

f< I know t,l^ai well, liafv'e oft their friendship try'd, l "~ 

C^ TT *VT W I HI I 

mm grubs'? adi riof dw laibi 
.tniia ariilio eldguodi 9iiJ oJ 
j bniM aril anaidsllns ludJ 3aio Y sriJ 10 fl3*l ad; *J 
moil fcB < 3iom sriJ Ln A 
SIB ijjomad bn esiuJndvbe auoiffi'/ inoY 
nsl*! flibodj.^M ^*dj ^o 3C;il 3/lJ lit ^fil^lib noidW 
* nfiM brtfi ,noT;3^ "io jnoigils^i 10 smsnl arf 1 

> 



,-xsd -,3.D A 1 3 fl 1 

ballso ^Inommoo j nolIooiM .iM. < bead 



boog ti n i navsigna yfanft b^ad aid bd 

Mo Eui R b&l gEbnS j 
bnaH bisdoi^ dnw 



badllilduq dilfi nfimilii^ 3ioni1 eidT 

eiiom 
omw 



.vi .fov t bnfn3 lo ^lofli 
9llJ(3' 



S 



INCE your ^S^ o yj^ 

conveys, . % u ^ e& { 1Jo 79ra as 37$ aagbu^M *' 

I . 



For irkerftoWBB!l%rttHlfe^ 
'Tis a pleafing relief which the Feeling returas : 
For as dear as the Light to the thoughts of the Blind, 
Is the Pen, or the Voice, that enlightens the Mind ; 
And the more, as from Nature and Genius untaught 
Your various adventures and humour are brought, 
Which difplay all the farce of the Methodift Plan, 
The fhame of Religion, of Reafon, and Man ; 
While no Libertine Motives their Secrets difpenfe, 
Eat Propriety joins hand-in-hand with good Senfe. 

Oh; 



Ixviii VERSES ADDRESSED TO THE AUTHOR. 

Oh! with thee, could the Crowd view each fanftified fcency 

Where the Hypocrite oft wears Simplicity's mien ; 

Where youth, fecond-childhood, and weaknefs of Sex, 

Are objeft* they ever prefer to perplex j 

Like thee, they'd contemn, or indignantly leave, 

Whom Folly, and Knav'ry, combine to deceive ; 

And whofe Newgate-Converfions blafphemoufly paint 

The Wretch moil deprav'd, the moft excellent Saint. 

Go on ; and difcover each latent defigh, 

And your rivals expofe, who 'gainft Learning combine : 

O'er fuch craft mall fair conduct, like thine, ftill prevail. 

And an envy'd fuccefs lay them low in the Scale. 

But as Time is too fhort all your fteps to retrace, 

Let your LIFE fpeak the reft, and fucceed in their place : 

How Books mend the manners ; and now fo abound, 

Where Rudenefs and Ignorance lately were found. 

But plain Truth, for itfelf, it muft ftill be confeft, 

Is the faithfulleft advocate therefore the beft : 

So I rife from the Feaft with a fatisfied mind, 

That the fame every Tafte, and each Temper, may find. 

Still, to drop all comparifon, Mental's the fare, 

That needs only good-tafte to invite us to (hare ; 

Entertainment and Knowledge, the objects in view ; 

Then receive, as the Donor, the Praife that is due. 

C. H S, 

BURY ST. EDMUND'S, 



' 



THE - 

" 

LIFE 



, 

O 



LJCKINGTON, 



BOOKSELLER. 






LETTER I. 



Others with wifhful eyes on Glory look, 

When they have got their pifture toward a book, 

Or pompous title, like a gaudy Sign 

Meant to betray dull fots to wretched wine, 

If at his title L - had dropt his quill, 

L - might have paft for a great genius ftill : 

But L - , alas ! (excufe him if you can) .. . ^_ 

Is now a Scribbler, who was once a man. 

YOUNG'S Love of Fame. 



DEAR FRIEND, 

JL OU have often requeued 
me to devote what few leifure moments I 
could fpare, in minuting down fome of the 
principal occurrences of my life, with a 
view, fooner or later, of exhibiting the ac- 
B . count 



50 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

count to the public eye ; who, as you were 
pleafed to fay, could not but be fomewhat 
curious to learn fome well-authenticated par- 
ticulars of 'a man, well known to have 
rifen from an obfcure origin to a degree of 
notice, and to a participation of the favor of 
the Public, in a particular line of bufinefs, 
I may without vanity fay, hitherto unpre- 
cedented. This will appear more confpi- 
cuous if you confider, that I was not only 
poor, but laboured under every other dif- 
advantage. 

Ever willing to pay a becoming deference 
to the judgment of a perfon of your acknow- 
ledged merits, and whom I have the felicity 
of numbering among my firmeft friends, yet 
being lefs anxious to appear as an adventurer 
among the numerous tribe of authors, than 
to continue a confiderable vender of the pro- 
duce of their labours, I have continually de- 
layed complying with your kind wifhes. 
By the bye, docs the publication of a Cata- 
logue of Books entitle the compiler to the 
name of Author ? If it does, many Book- 
fellers 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 51 

fellers have long had a claim to that diftinc- 
tion, by the annual publication of their 
Catalogues, and myfelf, as author of a very 
voluminous one every fix months. The 
reafon for my afking this queftion is', I lafl 
year obferved, that a certain bookfeller pub- 
limed his firft Catalogue with this intro- 
duction : " As this is the firfl Catalogue 

ever the AUTHOR made, and is done in great 
hafle, he hopes inaccuracies will be treated 
with lenity.*' 

But to return from this digreffion. I 
mould probably have ftill delayed compiling 
my narrative, if the editors of a certain peri- 
odical publication, who monthly labor to 
be witty, had not deemed me of fufficient 
confequence to introduce into their work, 
what they are pleafed to call a Portrait of 
me ! and though it was by them intended as 
a caricatura, yet 1 am perfuaded it will ap- 
pear to thofe who be know me, as a daub- 
ing more characteriftic of the heavy brum of 
a manufacturer of figns, than the delicate 
pencil of a true portrait-painter ; and on that 
B 2 account 



52 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

account I mould moft certainly have con- 
fidered it as unworthy notice, had they not 
daubed me "with falfe features. This at once 
determined my wavering refolution, and I 
am now fully refolved to minute down fuch 
particulars of my pafTage through life, as, 
though not adorned with an elegance of 
{tile, will, I aflure you, poffefs what to you, 
I natter myfelf, will be a greater recom- 
mendation, viz, a ftricl: adherence to truth. 
And though no doubt you will meet with 
fome occurrences in which you . may find 
cauie for cenfure, yet I hope others will 
prefent themfelves, which your candour will 
induce you to commend. Should you be 
able % to afford the whole a patient perufal, 
and think the account meriting the public 
eye, I lhall cheerfully fubrriit to your deci- 
fion, convinced that you will not, 

" With mean complacence e'er betray your truft, 
" Nor be fo civil as to prove unjuft." 

John Dunton, a brother Bibliopole, long 
fince exhibited a whole volume of dulnefs, 
which he called his " Life and errors" The 

latter 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 53 

latter term I believe might be a very proper 
appendage to the title page of the innume- 
rable lives which have been, and which will 
be publimed : For what man will dare to 
fay of himfelf, his life has not been loaded 
with errors ? That mine has been fuch, I 
readily acknowledge; and mould this nar- 
rative be publimed, many perhaps may deem 
that aft another (poffibly the greateft) error. 
To thofe I mall only obferve, that " to err 
is human, to forgive divine." 

As an additional ftimulus, I can afTure you 
as an abfolute fact, that feveral gentlemen 
have at different periods (one very lately) 
intimated to me their intentions of engaging 
in the tafk, if I any longer declined it. 

Of my firft-mentioned kind Biographers I 
mail take my leave, with a couplet, many 
years fmce written by an eminent poet, and 
not inapplicable to the prefent cafe. 

* f Let B charge low Grub-Street oam)*quill, 
" And write whate'er he pleafe, except MY WILL. 

3 And 



54 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

And of you, for the prefent, after inform- 
ing you, my next mall contain a faithful 
account of particulars relative to the early 
part of my life, with afluring you that 
I am, 



Dear Friend, 

Your ever obliged. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 55 



LETTER II. 

'* Why mould my birth keep down my mounting Spirit ? 

" Are not all creatures fubjeft unto time; 

" To time, who doth abufe the world, 

" And fills it full of hotch-podge baftardy ? 

" There's legions now of beggars on the Earth, 

" That their original did fpring from Kings ; 

" And many monarchs now, whofe fathers were 

" The riff-raff of their age ; for time and fortune 

" Wears out a noble train to beggary ; 

" And from the dunghill millions do advance 

' To ftate ; and mark, in this admiring world 

' This is the courfe, which in the name of fate 

" Is feen as often as it whirls about ; 

" The river Thames that by our door doth run, 

" His firft beginning is but fmall and (hallow, 

" Yet keeping on his courfe grows to a fea. 

SHAKES? EAR'S Cromwell. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

IN my laft I hinted that I 
fhould confine myfelf to a plain narrative of 
fadls, unembellifhed with the meretricious 
aid of lofty figures, or reprefentations of 
things which never had exiftence, but in the 
brain of the author. I fhall therefore not 
trouble you with a hiftory of predictions 
which foretold the future greatnefs of your 
B 4 humble 



5 6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

humble fervant, nor with a minute account 
of the afpefts of the planets at the very 
aufpicious arid important crifis when firft I 
inhaled the air of this buttling orb ; for, ex- 
traordinary as it may appear, it has never 
yet occurred to me, that any of the adepts 
in the aftrological fcience have made a cal- 
culation of my nativity ; 'tis probable this 
high honor is by the planets deftined to 
adorn the fublime lucubrations of the very 
ingenious Mr. SIBLEY, in the next edition 
of his {tup endous work ! And here, for 
the honor of the craft let me remark, that 
this moft fublime genius, has with my-' 
felf, to boaft (and who would not boaft of 
their genealogy in having a prince for their 
anceftor ?) in being a Son of the renowned 
PRIN 7 CE CRISPIN. 

A volume has been written with the title 
of " The Honor of the Taylors ; or the 
Hiftory of Sir JOHN HAWKWOOD." But 

were any learned writer to undertake 

The honor of the Shoemakers, or the Hiftory 

of , how infignifkant a figure would 

the 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 57 

the poor Taylors make, when compared 
with the honorable craft ! 

' Coblers from Crifpin boaft their Public Spirit, 
" And all are upright downright men of merit." 

Should I live to fee as many editions of 
my Memoirs publimed, as there have been 
of the Pilgrim's Progrefs, I may be induced 
to prefent the world with a Folio on that 
important fubjecl:. 

But to begin 

Were I inclined to pride myfelf in genealogi- 
cal defcent, I might here boaft that the family 
were originally fettled at White Lackington, 
in Somerfetmire, which obtained its name 
from one of my famous anceftors, and give 
you a long detail of their grandeur, &c. but 
having as little leifure as inclination to boaft 
of what if true would add nothing to my 
merits, I mall for the prefent only fay, that 
I W2S born at Wellington in Somerfetfhire, 
on the 3ift of Auguft, (old ftyle) 1746. 
My father George Lackington, was a Jour- 
neyman 



5 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

neyman Shoemaker, who had incurred the 
difpleafure of my grandfather for marrying 
my mother, "vvhofe maiden name was Joan 
Trott. She was the daughter of a poor 
weaver in Wellington ; a good honeft man, 
whofe end was remarkable, though not very 
fortunate; in the road between Taunton and 
Wellington, he was found drowned .in a 
ditch, where the water fcarcely covered his 
face : He was, 'tis conjectured, 

" Drunk when he died." 



This happened fome years before the mar- 
riage of my Father and Mother. 

My grandfather George Lackington had 
been a Gentleman Farmer at Langford, a 
village two miles from Wellington, and 
acquired a pretty confiderable property. But 
my father's mother dying when my father 
was but about thirteen years of age, my grand- 
father, who had two daughters, bound my 
father apprentice to a Mr. Hordly, a mafter 
flioemaker in Wellington, with an intention 
of fetting him up in that bufincfs at the ex- 
piration 



LIFE OF j. LACKINGTON. $ 9 

piration of his time. But my father worked 
a year or two as a journeyman, and then dif- 
pleafed his father by marrying a woman 
without a milling, of a mean family, and 
who fupported herfelf by fpinning of wool 
into yarn, fo that my mother was delivered 
of your friend and humble fervant, her firft- 
born, and hope of the family, in my grand- 
mother Trott's poor cottage ; and that good 
old woman carried me privately to church, 
unknown to my father who was (nominally) 
a Quaker, that being the religion of his 
anceftors. 

About the year 1750, my father having 
three or four children, and my mother prov- 
ing an excellent wife, my grandfather's 
refentment had nearly fubfided, fo that he 
fupplied him with money to open a mop for 
himfelf. But that which was intended to be 
of very great fervice to him and his family, 
eventually proved extremely unfortunate to 
himfelf and them ; for as fbon as he found 
he was more at eafe in his circumftanccs, he 
contracted a fatal habit of drinking, and of 

courfe 



60 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

courfe his bufinefs was negle&ed ; fo that 
after feveral fruitlefs attempts of my 
grandfather to keep him in trade, he was, 
partly by a very large family, but more by 
his habitual drunkennefs, reduced to his old 
jftate of a journeyman moemaker : Yet fb 
infatuated was he with the love of liquor, 
that the endearing ties of hufband and father 
could not reftrain him : by which baneful 
habit himfelf and family were involved in 
the extremeft poverty. 

" To mortal men great loads allotted be ; 

, *' But of all packs, no pack like poverty." 

HERRICK. 

So that neither myfelf, my Brothers, or Sif- 
ters are indebted to a Father fcarcely for any 
thing that can endear his memory, or caufe 
us to reflect on him with pleafure. 

ft Children, the blind effefts of love and chance 
Bear from their birth the impreffion of a Slave. 

DRITDEN. 

My father and mother might have faid with 
Middleton, 

' How adverfe runs the deftiny of fome creatures! 
" Some only can get riches and no children, 
" We only can get children and no riches ; 
' Then 'tis the prudent part to check our will, 
" And, till our ftate rife, make our blood (land {till. 

But 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 61 

But to our mother we are indebted for every- 
thing. " She was a woman take her for all in 
all, I mall not look upon her like again." 
Never did I know or hear of a woman who 
worked and lived fo hard as me did to fupport 
Eleven children : and were I to relate the 
particulars, it would not gain credit. I fhall 
only obferve, that for many years together, 
me worked generally nineteen or twenty 
hours out of every twenty- four; even when 
very near her time, fometimes at one hour 
me was feen walking backwards and forwards 
by her Spinning-wheel, and her midwife 
fent for the next. 

Out of love to her family me totally ab- 
ftained from every kind of Liquor, water 
excepted, her food was chiefly broth, (little 
better than water and oatmeal) turnips, pota- 
toes, cabbage, carrots, &c. her children fared 
fomething better, but not much, as you may 
well fuppofe. When I reflect on the aftonifh- 
ing hardfhips and fufferings of fo worthy a 
woman, and her helplefs infants, I find my- 
felf ready to curfe the hufband and father 

that 



62 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that could thus involve them in fuch a de- 
plorable fcene of mifery anc} diflrefs. It is 
dreadful to add, that his habitual drunken- 
nefs fhortened his days nearly one half, and 
that about twenty years fince he died, unre- 
gretted by his own children ; nay more, while 
nature med tears over his grave, reafon was 
thankful that the caufe of their poverty and 
mifery was taken out of the way. Read 
this, ye inhuman parents, ancU ihudder ! 
Was a law made to banifh all fuch fathers, 
would it not be a juft, nay even a mild 
law? 

Here, fir, permit me to drop fo gloomy 
a fubjeft, and again fubfcribe myfelf 



Yours, c. 



LETTER 






LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 63 



LETTER III. 



Some venial frailties you may well forgive." 

FRANCIS'S Horace. 



DEAR FRIEND, 

J\$ I was the eldeft, and my 
father for the firft few years a careful 
hard-working man, I fared fomethmg hetter 
than my* brothers and fitters. I was put for 
two or three years to a day-fchool kept by 
an old woman ; and well remember how 
proud I ufed to be to fee feveral ancient 
dames lift up their hands and eyes with 
aftonifhment, while I repeated by memory 
feveral chapters out of the New Teftament, 
concluding me 'from this fpecimen to be a 
prodigy of Science. But my career of learn- 
ing was foon at an end, when my mother 
became fo poor that (he could not afford the 
mighty fum of two-pence per week for my 
fchooling. Befides I was obliged to fupply 
the place of a nurfe to feveral of my brothers 
and fitters. The confequence of which 

was, 



64 LIFE OF J. LAC&INGTON. 

was, that what little I had learned was 
prefently forgot ; inftead of learning to read, 
&c. it very early became my chief delight 
to excel in all kinds of boyim mifchiefs ; 
and I foon arrived to be the captain and 
leader of all the boys in the neighbourhood, 
fo that if any old woman's lanthorn was 
kicked out of her hand, or drawn up a fign- 
poft, or if any thing was fattened to her 
tail, or if her door was nailed up, I was fure 
to be accufed as the author, whether I really 
were fo or not. 

But one of my tricks had nearly proved 
fatal to me. I had obferved that yawning 
was infectious ; and with a determination to 
have fome fport, I collected feveral boys 
together one market-day evening, and in- 
ftructed them to go amongft the butchers ; 
whither I accompanied them. We placed 
ourfelves at proper diftances, and at a fignal 
given, all began to yawn as wide as we 
could : which immediately had the defired 
effect ; the whole butcher row was fet a 
yawning ; on which I and my companions 

burft 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 65 

burft out into a hearty laugh, and took to 
our heels. The trick pleafed us fo well, 
that two or three weeks after, we attempted 
to renew it. But one of the butchers, who 
was half drunk, perceiving our intention, 
fnatched up his cleaver and threw it at me, 
which knocked off my hat without doing me 
any harm. 

I was about ten years of age, when a mati 
began to cry apple-pies about the ftreets, I took 
great notice of his methods of felling his pies, 
and thought I could do it much better than 
him. I communicated to a neighbouring 
baker my thoughts on the fubjecT: in fuch a 
manner as gave him a very good opinion of 
my abilities for a pie-merchant, and he pre- 
vailed on my father to let me live with him. 
My manner of crying pies, and my activity 
in felling them, foon made me the favorite 
of all fuch as purchafed halfpenny apple-pies, 
and halfpenny plumb-puddings, fo that in a 
few weeks the old pie-merchant {hut up his 
fhop. I lived \\ith this Baker about twelve 
or fifteen months, in which time I fold fuch 
C large 



66 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

large quantities of pies, puddings, cakes, &c. 
that he often declared to his friends, in my 
hearing, that I had been the means of ex- 
tricating him from the embarraffing circum- 
ftances in which he was known to be involved 
prior to my entering his fervice. 

During the time I continued with this 
Baker, many complaints were repeatedly 
made againft me for the childifli follies I 
had been guilty of> fuch as throwing fnow- 
balls, frightening people by flinging ferpents 
and crackers into their houfes, &c. I alfo 
happened one day to overturn my mailer's 
fon, a child about four years old, whom 1 
had been driving in a wheel-barrow. Dread- 
ing the confequences, I immediately flew 
from my matter's houfe, and (it being even- 
ing) went to a glazier's, and procured a par- 
cel of broken glafs ; I alfo provided myfelf 
with a pocketful of peas ; and thus equipped 
made fine diverfion for myfelf and my un- 
lucky companions, by going to a number 
of houfes, one after another, difcharging a 
handful of peas at the windows, and throw- 
ing 
I 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 67 

ing down another handful of glafs in the 
ftreet at the fame inftant, which made fuch 
a noife as very much frightened many people, 
who had no doubt of their windows being 
broken into a thoufand pieces. This adven- 
ture, together with throwing the child out 
of the wheel-barrow, produced fuch a cla- 
mour againft me amongft the old women, 
that I would not return to my mafter, and 
not knowing what elfe to do, I went home 
to my father, who, you may eafily conceive 
could not afford to keep me idle, fo 1 was 
foon fet down by his fide to learn his own 
trade ; and I continued with him feveral 
years, working when he worked, and while 
he was keeping Saint Monday r , I was with 
boys of my own age fighting, cudgel-play- 
ing, w refiling, &c. &c. 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 

C 2 BETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



. LETTER IV. 

" Who gather round, and wonder at the tale 

" Of horrid apparition, tall and ghaftly, 

" That walks at dead of night, or takes his ftand, 

" O'er fome new-open'd grave : and (ftrange to tell I) 

" Evanifhes at crowing of the cock." 

BLAIR'S Grave. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

1 Muft not forget an odd ad- 
venture that happened when I was about 
twelve years of age, as it tends to fhew in 
part my dauntlefs difpofition, which difco- 
vered itfelf on many occafions in the very 
early part of my life. 

I had one day walked with my father to 
Holywell lake, a village two miles from 
Wellington, where meeting with fome good 
ale, he could not find in his heart to part 
from it until late at night. When we were 
returning home by the way of Rockwell- 
Green, (commonly called Rogue Green, from 
a gang of robbers and houfe-breakers who 
formerly lived there) having juil paffed the 

bridge, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 69 

bridge, we were met by feveral men and 
women, who appeared to be very much 
frightened, being in great agitation. They 
informed us that they were returning back 
to Rogue-Green, in order to fleep there that 
night, having been prevented from going 
home to Wellington by a dreadful Appari- 
tion, which they had all feen in the hollow 
way, about a quarter of a mile diftant ; ad- 
ding, that a perfon having been- murdered 
there formerly, the ghoft had walked ever 
fince j that they had never before paid much 
attention to the well-known report ; but 
now they were obliged to credit it, hav- 
ing had ocular demonftration. My father 
had drank too large a quantity of ale to be 
much afraid of any thing, and I (who could 
not let ilip fuch an opportunity of mewing 
my courage) feconded matters for the poor 
terrified people to return with us ; and as I 
offered to lead the van, they were prevailed 
on to make the attempt once more ; but 
faid, that it was rather prefumptuous, and 
hoped that no dreadful confequence would 
C 3 eniue 



7 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

enfue, as all the company, they trufted were 
honeft-hearted, and intended no harm to any 
perfon : they moreover added, that " God 
certainly was above the Devil." I then ad- 
vanced, and kept before the company about 
fifty yards, 

" Whittling aloud to bear my courage up." 

But when we had walked about a quarter of 
a mile, I faw at fome diftance before us in 
the hedge, the dreadful apparition that had 
fo terrified our company. Here it is ! (faid 
I) " Lord have mercy upon us !" replied 
fome of the company, making a full flop ; 
and would have gone back, but fhame pre- 
vented them. I ftill kept my diftance be- 
fore, and called out to them to follow me, 
alluring them that I was determined to fee 
\vhat it was. They then fell one behind 
another, and advanced in fingle files. As I 
proceeded I too was feized with a timid ap- 
prehenfion, but durft not own it ; {till keep- 
ing on before, although I perceived my hair 
to heave my hat from my head, and my 

teeth 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. '71 

teeth to chatter in my mouth. In fact I 
was greatly agitated at what I law ; the ob- 
ject much refembled the human figure as to 
fhape, but the fize was prodigious. How- 
ever I had promifed to fee what it was, and 
for that purpofe I obfHnately ventured on 
about thirty yards from the place where 
I firft had fight of it, I then perceived 
that it was only a very mort tree, whofe 
limbs had been newly cut off, the doing 
of which had made it much refemble a 
giant. I then called to the company, and 
informed them, with a hearty laugh, that 
they had been frightened at the flump of 
a tree. 

This (lory caufed excellent diverfion for a 
long time afterwards in Wellington, and I 
was mentioned as an hero. 

The pleafure and fatisfa&ion I received 
from the difcovery, and the honour I acquired 
for the courage I porTefled in making it, 
has, 1 believe, had much influence on me 
ever after ; as I cannot recollect that in any 
C 4 , one 



7 2 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

one inftance I have ever obferved the leaft 
fear of apparitions, fpirits, &c. fmce. 

What education did at firft receive, 

'* Our ripen'd age confirms us to believe." 

POMFRET. 

Not that I have always {readily diibelieved 
\vhat has been related, of fuch appearances, a 
few accounts of which feem fo well authen- 
ticated, as at leaft to make me doubt whether 
there might not exift in the fcale of beings 
fome of a more a*erial fubftance than man- 
kind, who may pofTefs both the inclination 
and the power of affuming our fhape, and 
may perhaps take as much delight in teaz- 
ing the human fpecies, as too many of our 
fpecies do in teazing and even tormenting 
thofe of the brute creation, 

" Some aftral forms I muft invoke by pray'r ; 

' Fram'd all of pureft atoms of the air : 

" In airy chariots they together ride, 

" And fip the dew, as thro' the clouds they glide ; 

" Vain fpirits, You, that fhunning feeav'n's high noon, 

Swarm here beneath the concave of the moon, 

" Hence to the tafk affign'd you here below ! 

" Upon the ocean make loud tempefts blow j 

" Into 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 73 

" Into the wombs of hollow clouds repair, 

" And crafh out thunder from the bladder'd air; 

* From pointed fun-beams take the mifts they drew, 

" And fcatter them again in pearly dew : 

" And of the bigger drops they dfjin below, 

" Some mould in hail, and others fift in fnow." 

DRYDEN. 

While I am on this fubjeft, I cannot refift 
the temptation of relating a truly ridicu- 
lous affair that happened about this time at 
Taunton. 

In the workhoufe belonging to the parifli 
of St. James, there lived a young woman 
who was an idiot. This poor creature had 
a great averlion to deeping in a bed, and at 
bed-time would often run away to a field in 
the neighbourhood called the Priory, where 
flie flept in the cowfheds. 

In order to break her of this bad cuftom, 
two men agreed to try if they could not 
frighten her out of it. And one night, 
when they knew that me was there, they 
took a white meet with them, and coming 
to the place, one of the men concealed him- 

felf 



74 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

felf to fee the event, while the other wrap- 
ped himfelf up in the flieet, and walked 
backwards and forwards clofe before the 
cowfhed in which fhe was laid. It was 
fome time before Molly paid any attention 
to the apparition ; but at laft up fhe got. 
" Aha ! (faid fhe) a white devil !" and by 
her manner of expreffing herfelf ihe thought 
It was very flrange to fee a white devil. And 
foon after fhe exclaimed, " A black devil, 
too ! a black devil, too !" With that the man 
who had the fheet on, looked over his fhoul- 
der, and faw (or imagined he faw) a perfon 
all over black behind him ; the fight of 
which made him take to his heels. Molly 
then clapped her hands as faft as fhe could, 
crying out at the fame time, " Run, black 
devil, and catch white devil ! Run, black 
devil, and catch white devil !" and was 
highly diverted. But this proved a ferious 
adventure to the white devil, as he expired 
within a few minutes after he had reached 
his own houfe ; and from that time poor 
Molly was left alone to fleep in peace. 

About 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 75 

About ten years after the above affair, at 
Wivelfcombe, nine miles from Taunton, a 
gentleman farmer's houfe was alarmed every 
night between twelve and one o'clock. The 
chamber doors were thrown open, the bed' 
clothes pulled off the beds, and the kitchen 
furniture thrown with violence about the 
kitchen, to the great terror of the family, 
infomuch that the fervants gave their matter 
and miftrefs warning to leave their places, 
and fome of them actually quitted their fer- 
vice. This dreadful affair had lafted about 
fix weeks, when a young gentleman who 
was there on a vifit, being in bed , one 
night, at the ufual hour he heard his cham- 
ber door thrown open, and a very odd noife 
about his room. He was at firft frightened, 
but the noife continuing a long time, he 
became calm, and laid frill, revolving in his 
mind what he had beft do. When on a 
iudden he heard the fpirit creep under his 
bed, which was immediately lifted up, &c. 
This convinced him that there was fome 
fubftance in the fpirit ; on which he leaped 

uot 



76 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

out of bed, fecured the door, and with his 
oaken ftaff belaboured the ghoft under the 
bed as hard as he could, until he heard a 
female voice imploring mercy. On that he 
opened his chamber door, and called aloud 
for a light. The. family all got up as faft as 
poflible, and came to his room. He then 
informed them that he had got the fpirit 
under the bed ; on hearing which, moft of 
them were terribly frightened, and would 
have run off fafter than they came, but he 
allured them, they had nothing to fear : 
then out he dragged the half-murdered 
ipirit from its fcene of action. But how 
great was their furprife and fhame, when 
they difcovered that this tormenting devil 
was no other than one of their fervant girls 
about fixteen years of age, who had been 
confined to her bed feveral months by ill- 
nefs. 

This ghoft was no {boner laid, than two 
others alarmed the neighbourhood ; one of 
which for a long time fliook a houfe every 
night, and terribly diftreffed the family ; at 

length 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 77 

length they all refolved one night to go over 
the whole houfe in a body, and fee what it 
was that fo agitated the building. They ex- 
amined every room, but in vain, as no caufe 
could be difcovered. So they very ferioufly 
as well as unanimoufly concluded, that it 
muft be the devil. 

But about a fortnight after this, one of 
the family being out late in the garden, faw 
a great boy get in at the window of an old 
houfe next door (part of which was in ruins) 
and foon after the houfe began to fhake as 
ufual, on which the family went out of their 
own habitation, and entered the old houfe 
where the boy was feen to get in ; yet for a 
long time they could not difcover any per- 
fon, and were juft turning to come out 
again, when one of the company obferved 
the boy fufpended above their heads, (hiding 
over the end of a large beam that ran acrofs 
both houfes. 

It was then apparent that the violent agi- 
tation of the adjoining houfe was occafioned 

by 



7 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

by nothing more than his leaping up and 
down on the unsupported end of this beam. 

Another apparition had for a long time 
ftolen many geefe, turkeys, &c. and altho* 
it had been feen by many, yet nobody would 
venture to go near it, until at length one 
perfen a little wifer than the reft of his 
neighbours, feeing the famous apparition all 
over white ftealing his fowls, was determined 
to be fully fatisfied what kind of fpirit it 
could be that had fb great a predilection for 
poultry. He accordingly went round the 
yard, and as the apparition was coming over 
the wall, he knocked it down. This ter- 
rible ghoft then proved to be a neighbouring 
woman, who had put on her fliroud, in 
order to deter any perfons mould they by 
chance fee her, from coming near her. 
Thus, though me had for a long time 
fuccefsfully practifed this ingenious way of 
procuring poultry, the old fox was caught 
at laft. 

This 



LIFE OF J. I.ACKINGTON. 79 

This is fo prolific a fubjeft, that I could 
fill many pages with relations of dreadful 
fpedlres, which for a while have reigned 
with tyrannic fway over weak minds, and* 
nt length when calm Reafon was fuffcred to 
aflame its power, have been difcovered to be 
no more objects of terror than thofe I have 
here noticed. But doubtlefs many fuch in- 
ftances rnufl have occurred to you. 

It has indeed often aftonimed me, 1 that in 
this enlightened age, there fhould yet re- 
main numbers, not in the country only, but 
even in the metropolis, who fuffer them- 
felves to be made miferable by vain fears of 
preternatural occurrences, which generally 
owe their origin to the knavery of fome ill- 
difpofed perfon, who has a fmifter purpofe 
to anfwer thereby, or to the foolim defire 
of alarming the minds of weak people : a 
practice fometimes (though intended as fun) 
productive of very ferious confequences. Now 
and then, indeed, thefe terrors are owing 
to accidental and ridiculous caufes. As an 

Jnflance, 



8o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

inftance, I mall give you the account of a ter- 
rible alarm which fome years fmce took place 
in an Hofprtal of this city, as related to me 
by a gentleman, who at the time refided in 
the houfe, for the purpofe of completing his 
medical education, and on whofe veracity I 
can confidently rely. 

For feveral nights fucceffively a noife had 
been heard in the lower part of the building, 
like the continual tapping againft a window, 
which led the night nurfes wifely to con- 
clude it muft certainly be occafioned by the 
Spirit of one of the bodies depofited in the 
dead-houfe endeavouring to efcape ; the found 
feeming to proceed from that.particular quar- 
ter. The dread of thefe fagaelous ladles at 
lafl became fuch, as totally to prevent their 
going from ward to ward to do their duty, 
and determined my friend to attempt to lay 
this perturbed fpirit ; which however he ap- 
prehended would more fpeedily, as well as 
effectually be performed by the afliftance 
of a good cudgel, than by cxorcifms ; he 
therefore inftead of confulting the Chaplain, 

gave 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 81 

gave orders the next night as foon as the 
ufual dreadful found was heard, to give him 
notice. This you may fiippofe they did not 
negleft doing, though at the fame time they 
were mocked at his temerity, and apprehen- 
live for the confequences. Imprefled with 
an idea of the alarm being occasioned by 
fome fervant or patient in the houfe, he im- 
mediately fallied forth, with a candle in one 
hand, and a good tough twig in the other, 
accompanied by two of the men fervants of 
the Hofpital, accoutred in the fame manner, 
refblved that if detected, the party mould 
meet with an ample reward. The dead- 
houfe was patted ; the noife continued ; 
though it evidently proceeded from a win- 
dow at fome diftance in the area. When 
the cavalcade came near the Icene of acYion, 
the window fuddenly and violently broke, 
without any thing being feeii. This my . 
friend confefled, for a moment occafioned his 
making a halt j but as nothing vifible had 
efcaped through the area, it occurred to him 
fomething might have made an entrance that 
D way ; 



a LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

way ; accordingly he proceeded to the inter- 
nal part of the building, and on opening the 
door, the apparition immediately not only 
appeared, but difappeared, and that fo in- 
jftantaneoufly as not to afford time to apply 
the remedy intended. And what think you, 
was this dreadful fpirit ? That you may 
exercife your ingenuity at gueifing, I will 
here conclude with, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours, c. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 83 



LETTER V. 

' . Were thy education ne'er fo mean, 

" Having thy limbs, a thoufand fair courfes 
" Offer themfelves to thy eleftion. 

BIN JOHNSON'S Every Man in his Humour. 

" Laugh if you are wife." 

MARTIAL. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

A CAT. An odd begin- 
ning of a Letter, by the bye but here 
highly important and proper, as tending to 
relieve you from the anxious thoughts which 
(no doubt) muft have filled your mind on 
the fubjecl: of the concluding part of my 
former letter. I muft give you one laugh- 
able inftance more, which lately happened. 
Mr. Higley, the bookfeller famous for felling 
odd volumes or broken fets of books, lived 
next door to a public-houfe in RufTell-courr, 
Drury-lane ; this public-houfe was feparated 
from his habitation only by a flight wainfcot 
partition, through which Mr. Higley caufed 
D 2 an 



.84. LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

an hole to be cut, and a flider put over it, 
fo that when he wanted any beer, he always 
drew back the flider and had it handed to 
him through this convenient aperture. 

The night after Mr. Higley's death, 
which happened a few months fince, the 
man who was left to take care of the corps, 
about twelve o'clock hearing the landlord 
and his family going up flairs to their beds, 
on a fudden drew back the flider and halloo'd 
through the hole, " Bring me a pint, of 
beer." This order the landlord and his 
family heard, and were terribly alarmed, as 
they really thought it had proceeded from 
the ghoft of their neighbour Higley ; the 
poor maid let fall the warming-pan, which 
came tumbling down the ftairs ; the land- 
lady being within the reach of her hufband's 
legs, caught faft hold of them, which in his 
fright he miftook for poor Higley. But the 
man burfting into a hearty laugh, reftored 
the fpirits of our hoft and his family. 

Having 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 85 

Having now, I dare fay, had enough of 
Gbofteffes, I will proceed with my narration. 

During the time that I lived with the 
Baker, my name became fo celebrated for 
felling a large number of pies, puddings, &c. 
that for feveral years following, application 
was made to my father, for him to permit 
me to fell AlHianacks a few market days be- 
fore and after Chriflmas. In this employ I 
took great delight, the country people being 
highly pleafed with me, and purchafing a 
great number of my Almanacks, which ex- 
cited envy in the itinerant venders of Moore, 
Wing, Poor Robin, &c. to fuch a degree, 
that my father often exprefled his anxiety 
left they mould fome way or other do me a 
mifchief. But 1 had not the leaft concern, 
for pofleffing a light pair of heels, I always 
kept at a proper diflance. 

O, my friend, little did I imagine at that 
time, that 1 mould ever excite the fame poor 
mean fpirit in many of the bookfellers of 
London and other places ! but, 

03 Envy 



86 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" Ewvy at laft crawls forth, from hell's dire throng, 
" Of all the direfull'ft ! her black locks hung long, 
Attir'd with curling ferpents ; her pale (kin 
" Was almoft drop'd from her fliarp bones within, 
' And at her breaft (tuck vipers, which did prey 
Upon her panting heart both night and day, 
Sucking black blood from thence : which to repair, 
" Both day and night they left frefh poifons there. 
* Her garments were deep-flain'd with human gore, 
And torn by her own hands, in which (he bore 
tf A knotted whip and bowl, which to the brim, 
" Did green gall, and the juice of wormwood fwim ; 
" With which when (he was drunk, (he furious grew, 
" And lam'd herfelf : thus from th'accurfed crew, 
' Envy, the word of fiends, herfelf prefents, 
" Envy, good only when (he herfelf torments." 

COWLEY. 

" The true condition of Envy is, 

" Dolor alienee felicitatis ; to have 

*' Our eyes continually fix'd upon another 

* Man's profperity, that is, his chief happinefs, 

' And to grieve at that." 

I was fourteen years and a half old when 
I went with my father to work at Taunton, 
feven miles from Wellington. We had been 
there about a fortnight,- when my father in- 
formed our mailer, George Bowden, that he 

would 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 87 

would return to Wellington again. Mr. 
Bowden was then pleafed to inform my fa- 
ther that he had taken a liking to me, and 
propofed taking me apprentice; I feconded 
Mr. Bowden's motion (having a better prof- 
pect in continuing with Mr. Bowden than in 
returning to Wellington with my father) as 
he offered to take me without any premium, 
and to find me in every thing. My father ac- 
cepted his offer, and I was immediately bound 
apprentice for feven years to Mr. George and 
Mrs. Mary Bowden, as honeft and worthy a 
couple as ever carried on a trade. 

" Religious, punftual, frugal, and fo forth ; 
" Their word would paf a iur more than they were worth." 

Porn. 

They carefully attended to their mop fix 
days in the week, and on the leventh went 
with their family twice to an anabaptifh 
meeting ; where little attention was paid to 
ipeculadve doctrines j but where found mo- 
rality was conftantly inculcated. 

D 4 For 



88 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

For modes of faith let gracelefs zealots fight, 
" His can't be wrong whofe life is in the right.'* 

But in this, as in many other places of wor- 
fhip, it was performed in a dull fpiritlefs 
manner; Ib that the excellent morality 
taught there was not fo much attended to 
as it would have been had it been enforced, 
or re-enforced by the captivating powers of 
oratory. 

I well remember, that although I con- 
ftantly attended this place, it was a year or 
two before I took the leaft notice of the fer- 
mon, which was read; nor had I any idea 
that I had the leaft concern in what the 
minifter was (as 'tis called) preaching about. 
For, 

" Who a cold, dull, lifelefs drawling keeps, 

" One half his audience laughs, whilft t'other fleeps. 



' Sermons, like plays, forne pleafe us at the ear, 

" But never will a ferious reading bear j 

' Some in the clofet edify enough, 

That from the pulpit feem'd but forry fluff. 

" 'Tis 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 89 

" 'Tis thus there are who by ill reading fpoil 

" Young's pointed fenfe, or Atterbury's ftyle ! 

" While others, by the force of eloquence, 

" Make that feem fine, which fcarce is common fenfe. 

" But fome will preach without the leaft pretence 

" To virtue, learning, art, or eloquence. 

" Why not ? you cry : they plainly fee, no doubt 

" A prieft may grow right reverend without." 

Art of Preaching. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 



LETTER 



9 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER VI. 

" Youth is the (lock whence grafted fuperftition 
" Shoots with unbounded vigor.'* 

MILLER'S Mahomet. 

All rauft lament that he's under fuch banners, 

" As evil community fpoils our good manners." 

SlMPKIN. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

jL\T the time that I was bound 
apprentice, my mafler had two fons, the 
eldeft about feventeen years old, the youngeft 
fourteen. The eldeft had juft been baptized, 
and introduced as a member of the arianifti- 
cal dipping community where my mafter 
and his family attended. The boy was a 
very fober induftrious youth, and gave his 
father and mother much pleafure. The 
youngeft was alfo a good lad. Thus every 
thing continued well for fome time after I 
had been added to the family. Both of the 
boys had very good natural parts, and had 

learned 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 91 

learned to read, write, keep accounts, &c. 
But they had been at fchools where no va- 
riety of books had been introduced, fo that 
all they had read was the Bible. My matter's 
whole library confitted of a fchool-fize Bible, 
Watts's Pfalms and Hymns, Foot's Tract 
on Baptifm, Culpepper's Herbal, the Hiftory 
of the Gentle Craft, an old imperfect volume 
of Receipts in Phyfic, Surgery, &c. and the 
Ready Reckoner. The ideas of the family 
were as circumfcribed as their library. My 
matter called attention to bufinefs and work- 
ing hard, " minding the main chance" On 
Sundays all went to meeting ; my Matter on 
that day faid a fhort grace before dinner, and 
the boys read a few chapters in the Bible, 
took a walk for an hour or two, then read 
a chapter or two more. 

" What right, what true, what fit we juftly call, 
" And this was all our care for this is all." 

We then fupped, and went early to bed, 
perfectly fatisfied with having done their 

duty ; 



92 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 

duty ; and each having a quiet confcience, 
foon fell into the arms of 

" Nature's foft nurfc ! fweet fleep." 

I cannot here omit mentioning a very 
fmgular cuftom of my matter's : Every 
morning, at all feafons of the year, and in 
all weathers, he rofe about three o'clock, 
took a walk by the river-fide round French- 
ware-fields, ftopt at an alehoufe that was 
early open to drink half a pint of ale, came 
back before fix o'clock, then called up his 
people to work, and went to bed again 
about feven. 

Thus was the good man's family jogging 
eafily and quietly on, no one doubting but 
he mould go to heaven when he died, and 
every one hoping it would be a good while 
firft. 

" A man (hould be religious, not fuperftitious." 

But, alas ! the dreadful crifis was at hand 
that put an end to the happinefs and peace of 
this little family. I had been an apprentice 

about 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 93 

about twelve or fifteen months, when my 
matter's eldeft fon George happened to go 
and hear a fermon by one of Mr. Wefley's 
preachers, who had left the plough-tail to 
preach the pure and unadulterated Gofpel of 
Chrift. By this fermon the fallow ground 
of poor George's heart was ploughed up, he 
was now perfuaded that the innocent and 
good life he had led would only fink him 
deeper into hell : in mort he found out that 
he had never been converted, and of courfe 
was in a ftate of damnation, without benefit 
of Clergy. But he did not long continue in 
this damnable ftate, but foon became one of 



The fanaified band, 



" Who all holy myfteries well underftand." 

SlMPKIN. 

He perfuaded himfelf that he had paffed 
through the New Birth, and was quite fure 
that his name was regiftered in the Book of 
Life, and (to the great grief of his parents) 
lie was in reality become anew creature. 

" 'Tvvas 



94 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" 'Twas methodiftic grace that made him tofs and tumble, 
" Which in.his entrails did like jollup rumble." 

OVID'S Epift. Burlcfqued. 

George had no fooner made things fure 
for himfelf, than he began to extend his 
concern to his father, mother, brother, and 
me ; and very kindly gave us to underfland, 
that he was fure we were in a very deplorable 
flate, " without hope, and without God in 
the world," being under the curfe of the 
Law. In the long winter nights, as we fat 
at work together, he proved (in his way) 
that every man had original fin enough to 
damn a thoufand fouls ; and a deal was faid 
on that fubject : Quotations were made from 
fome deep author who had aflerted, that there 
were infants in hell but a fpan long ;"and 
that " hell was paved with infant fculls" 
&c. As to Morality, George allured us it 
was of no avail ; that as for good works, 
they were only fplendid fins ; and that in the 
heft good work that any creature could per- 
form, there was fin enough to fink the doer 
to the nethermoft hell ; that it was Jalth 

alone 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 95 

alone that did every thing, without a grain 
of morality ; but that no man could have 
one particle of this myfterious faith, before 
he was juftined ; and that jufiification was a 
fudden operation on the foul, by which the 
mod execrable wretch that ever lived might 
inftantaneoufly be aflured of all his fins being- 
pardoned ; that his body from that very mo- 
ment became the living temple of the Holy 
Ghoft; that he had fellowship with the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; and, that 
Spirit was to be their conftant and infallible 
guide : 

" Whate'er men fpeak by this new light, 

" Still they were fure to be in the right. 

" This dark-lanthorn of the Spirit, 

" Which none fee by but thofe that bear it j 

" A light that falls down from on high, 

" For fpiritual trades to cozen by j 

" An ignis fatuus, that bewitches 

" And leads men into pools and ditches, 

tf This light infpires and plays upon 

*' The noife of Saint, like bagpipe drone, 

" And fpeaks through hollow empty foul, 

" As through a trunk, or whifpering hole, 

" Such language as no mortal ear 

" But fpiritu'l eaves-droppers can hear." 

My 



9 6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

My matter very feldom heard any of thefe 
converfations, but my good miftrefs would 
lit down for hours together, with her Bible 
in her lap, from which file would read fuch 
fcriptures as proved the neceffity of living a 
good life, performing good works, &c. me 
alfo did her heft to confute the tenets of 
Original fin, Imputed righteoufnefs, doctrine 
of the Trinity, &c. &c. Unfortunately the 
good woman had no great talents for contro- 
veriy ; however, George had a very tenacious 
memory, and employed all his thoughts on 
thefe fubje&s, fo that John his younger bro- 
ther, and I alfo (two competent judges no 
doubt) thought that he had the beft of the 
arguments on thefe edifying fubje&s, and 
about five months after George's converfion, 
John went to hear thofe only true AmbarTa- 
dors from Heaven, 

" Who ftroll and teach from town to town 
" The good old Caufe : which fome believe 
" To be the devil that tempted Eve 
' With knowledge, and do ftill invite 
" The world to mifchief with new light." 

BUTLER. 

Thefe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 97 

Thefe devil-dodgers happened to be fo very 
powerful (that is very W/y,) that they foon 
lent John home, crying out, he fliould ,be 
damn'd ! he mould he damn'd for ever ! 

But John foon got out of the damnable 
flate, and aflured us that all his fins were 
forgiven, merely by believing that he had 
patted from death into life, and had union 
and communion with God. He now became 
as merry as before he had been forrowful,,and 
fung in Mr. Wefley's drain, 

" Not a doubt (hall arife 
To darken the Ikies, 
" Nor hide for a moment my God from my Eyes." 

John fung to me, and faid to me a deal in this 
wonderful drain, of which I did not compre- 
hend one lyllable. 

" His words were loofe 

" As heaps of fand. and fcatter'd wide from fenfe. 

" So high he mounted in his airy throne, 

" That when the wind had got into his head, 

'* It turn'd his brains to frenzy. 

E But 



9 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

But thefe extraordinary accounts and difcour- 
fes, together with the controversies between 
the mother' and the fons, made me think they 
knew many matters of which I was totally 
ignorant. This created in me a deflre for 
knowledge, that I might know who was right 
and who was wrong. But to my great morti- 
fication, I could not read. I knew mofr. of the 
letters, and a few eafy words, and I fet about 
learning with all my might. My miftrefs 
would fometimes inftruct me ; and having 
three halfpence per week allowed me by my 
mother, this money I gave to John ( my 
matter's youngeft fon) and for every three- 
halfpence he taught me to fpell one hour ; 
this was done in the dark, as we were not 
allowed a candle after we were fent up flairs 
to bed. 

I foon made a little progrefs in reading ; 
in the mean time I alfo went to the Method- 
ift meeting. There, as " enthufiafm is the 
child or melancholy," I caught the infection. 
The firfr, that I heard was one Thomas 

Bryant, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. QQ 

Bryant, known in Tauntcn by the name of 
the damnation preacher ; (he had juft left off 
cobbling foles of another kind.) His fermon 
frightened me moft terribly. I foon after 
went to hear an old Scotchman, and he 
allured his congregation, that they would be 
damn'd, and double damn'd, and ' treble 
damn'd, and damn'd for ever, if they died 
without what he called faith. 

This marvellous do&rine and noify rant 
and enthufiafm foon worked on my paflions, 
and made me believe myfelf to be really in 
the damnable condition that they reprefented; 
and in this miferable {late I continued for 
about a month, being all that time unable 
to v/ork myfelf up to, the proper key. 

At laft, by finging and repeating enthufi- 
aftic amorous hymns, and ignorantly ap- 
plying particular texts of fcripture, I got 
my imagination to the proper pitch, and 
thus was I born again in an inflant, be- 
came a very great favourite of heaven, had 
angels to attend all my fteps, and was as 
E 2 familiar 



loo LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

familiar with the Father, Son, and 4 Holy 
Ghofl, as any old woman in Mr. Wefley's 
connexion / which, by the bye, is faying a 
great deal. 

I am, 

Dear Sir, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 101 



LETTER VII. 

" No fleep, no peace, no reft 
" Their wand'ring and afflifted minds poflefs'd; 

" Upon their fouls and eyes 

" Hell and eternal horror lies, 

" Unufual fhapes and images, 

" Dark pictures and refemblaflces 
** Of things to come, and of the worlds below, 

" O'er their diftemper'd fancies go : 
' Sometimes they curfe, fometimes they pray unto 

" The gods above, the gods beneath ; 
" No fleep, but waking now was fitter unto death. 

BP. SPRAT. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

AT is perhaps worth remark- 
ing, that what the methodifts call conviction 
of fin, being awakened, &c. is often a moft 
dreadful ftate, and has the very fatne effecl: 
on fuch as have lived a very innocent life as 
it has upon the moft notorious offenders ; this 
conviction (as they call it) is brought about 
by the preachers heaping all the curfes in the 
Bible on the heads of the moft virtuous as well 
as 'moft vicious ; for, fay they, he who keepeth 
E 3 the 



io* LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

the whole law and offendeth but in one 
point, is as much in a ftate of damnation, as 
he that hath broken every one of the com- 
mandments, or committed robbery, murder, 
&c. io that they pour out every awful denun- 
ciation found in the Bible, and many not 
found there, againft all who have not the 
methodiftical faith : this they call lhaking 
the people over the mouth of hell. 

Thus are many who before poffefled 
" confciences void of offence towards God 
and mankind** tricked out of their peace of 
jnind, by the ignorant application of texts 
of fcripture. Their fears being once fo 
dreadfully alarmed, they often become in- 
fupportable to themfelves and all around 
them ; many in this ftate have put a period 
to their exiftence, others run mad, &c. 

If the above terror of confcience was only 
to take place in knaves and rafcals, there 
would be no reafon for blaming the metho- 
difts on that head ; " the wretch deferves the 
hell he feels." A terrible inflance of this 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 103 

kind happened near London-bridge about 
two years iince : A perfon in a lucrative 
branch of bufinefs had put unbounded con- 
fidence in his head mopman, and well re- 
warded him for his fuppofed faithfulnefs. 
One morning, this man not coming down 
flairs fo foon as ufual, the fervant maid went 
up to call him, and found him hanging up 
to the bed-pott ; fhe had the prefence of 
mind to cut him down, but he being nearly 
dead, it was fome days before he perfectly 
recovered. On his matter coming to town 
he was informed what had happened to his 
favorite fhopman ; he heard the relation with 
the utmott aftonimment, and took great 
pains to difcover the caufe of fo fatal a refo- 
lution, but to no purpofe. However he en- 
deavoured to reconcile this unhappy man to 
life, was very tender towards him, and gave 
him more encouragement than ever ; but the 
more the matter did to encourage and make 
him happy, the more the poor wretch ap- 
peared to be dejected ; in this unhappy ttate 
of mind he lived about fix months, when 
E 4 . one 



io4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

one morning not appearing at his ufual time, 
the fervant maid went to fee if he was well, 
and found him very weak in bed ; a day or 
two after, his matter came to town, and 
being told of his fituation, went up to fee him, 
and finding him in bed, and apparently Very 
ill, propofed fending for a phyfician, but the 
poor devil refufed to take any thing, and re- 
jeled every affittance, faying his time was 
nearly come. Soon after this the fervant 
informed her matter that he would not have 
the bed made, and that fhe had juft obferved 
fome blood on one corner of the meet. The 
matter then went up ttairs again, and by lift- 
ing up the bed-clothes found that he had 
ftabbed himfelf in feveral places, and that in 
this ftate he had lain three or four days, and 
on the furgeon's appearance, he refufed to 
have the wounds infpecled, and the furgeon 
being of opinion that is was too late to render 
him any kind of fervice, they let him lie 
ftill. The matter foon after this prefled him 
much to know the myfterious caufe of fo 
much nailery, and fo unnatural an end. The 

dying 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 105 

dying wretch exclaimed, " a wounded con- 
fcience, who can bear." The mafter then 
endeavoured to comfort him, and afliired him 
that his confcience ought not to wound him, 
" I know you (continued he) to be a good 
man," and the beft of fervants." Hold ! hold ! 
exclaimed the wretch, your words are dag- 
gers to my foul ! I am a villain, I have robbed 
you of hundreds, and have long fuffered the 
tortures of the damned for being thus acon- 
cealed villain, every at of kindnefs fhewn to 
me by you has been long like vultures tearing 
my vitals. Go, fir, leave me, the fight of you 
caufes me to fuffer excruciating tortures ; he 
then mrunk under the bed-clothes, and the 
fame night expired in a fbite of mind unhappy 
beyond all description. 

Terrible as the above relation is, I afllire 
you that I have not heightened it : when 
an ungrateful villain is punifhed by his own 
reflections, we acknowledge it to be but jufL 
In Morton's Hiftory of apparitions arefcveral 
fliocking {lories of peribns, who by their 

abun cloned 



t 



io6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

abandoned practices, brought on themfelves 
all the horrors of a guilty conference. 

*' O treacherous confcience; while (he fcems to fleep 

' ' On rofe and myrtle, lull'd with fyren fong ; 

" While fhe feems nodding o'er her charge to drop 

' On headlong appetite the flacken'd rein, 

" And gives up to licence unrecall'd, 

" Unmarked ; fee from behind her fecret ftand, 

" The fly informer minutes every fault, 

" And her dread diary with horror fills. 

" A watchful foe ! the formidable fpy, 

" Lift'ning, o'erhears the whifpers of our camp : 

' Our dawning purpofes of heart explores 

" And fteals our embryos of iniquity. 

" As all rapacious ufurers conceal, 

" Their doomfday-book from all confuming heirs, 

" Thus with indulgence moil fevere flie treats, 

" Writes down our whole hiftory, which death mall read, 

" In ev'ry pale delinquent's private ear. 

Might Thoughts. 

But the cafe Is otherwife amongft the metho- 
difls, they work on the fears of the moll 
virtuous; youth and innocence fall victims 
daily before their threats of hell and damna- 
tion, and the poor feeble minded, inftead of 
being comforted and encouraged are often 

by 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 107 

by them funk into an irrecoverable ftate of 
gloomy defpondence and horrible delpair. 

It is true that many of their hearers are 
not only method! ftically convinced, or 
alarmed, but are alfo hocus pacujly converted ; 
but with thoufands that is not the cafe, even 
with thofe who join their fociety, where ib 
much of divine love, allurance, and extafies 
are talked of, where enthufiaftic, rapturous, 
intoxicating hymns are fung, and befides the 
unhappy mortals in their own community, 
thoufands there are who have loft their 
peace of mind by occasionally heanipg their 
fermons. 

And even thofe among them who have 
arrived to the higheft pitch of enthufiafm, 
and who at times talk of their foretafte of 
heaven, and of their full affurance of fins 
forgiven, and of talking to the Deity as fa- 
miliarly as they will to one another ; (all 
which, and much more, I have heard a 
thoufand times) yet even thole very pre- 
tended favorites of heaven are (if we be- 
lieve 



io8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

lieve themfelves) miferable for the greateft 
part of their time, having doubts, fears, 
horrors of mind, &c. continually haunting 
them wherever they are. Between twenty 
and thirty years fince, fome thoufands of 
them in London took it into their heads that 
the world would be at an end on fuch a 
night, and for fome days previous to this 
fatal night, nothing was attended to but 
rafting and praying, and when it came, they 
made a watch-night of it, and fpent it in 
prayer, &c. expecting every moment to be 
the laft ; and it is remarkable, that thoufands 
who were not methodifls gave credit to this 
ridiculous prophecy, and were terribly alarm- 
ed ; but the next morning they were afhamed 
to look at one another, and many durfl not 
appear in their fhops for fometime after- 
wards. But others of them faid that God 
had heard the prayers of the righteous, and 
fo fpared the world a little longer. Some 
years after that Mr. Wefley alarmed his 
people all over England, with the tail of a 
comet; great numbers were dreadfully ap- 

prehenfive 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 109 

prehenfive left this comet mould fcorch the 
earth to a cinder ; but the faints by prayer 
made the comet keep a proper diftance. 

Charnock, of the laft century, in his dif- 
courfe on Providence, has proved (in his 
way) that the univerfe was created and kept 
agoing for the fake of the elect, and that as 
foon as their number is complete, the whole 
will be deflroyed. 

The fanatics in every age have found their 
account in making their followers believe 
the end of the world was at hand. In fome 
of the wills and deeds, by which eftates have 
been given to monafteries, &c. in France, 
they have exprefled their belief of the world's 
being nearly at an end, as a reafon for mak- 
ing fuch liberal donations to the church. 
But it is happy for us that in England fuch 
wills would be fet ande. A cafe of this na- 
ture occured while Lord Northington was 
at the head of the law department. Reilly 
the preacher, had wheedled, or frightened, 
an old woman (Mrs. Norton) out of a deed 

of 



i io LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

of gift of fifty pounds per year, but after the 
old woman's panic and fear of damnation 
was over, fhe had recourfe to Chancery, and 
his Lordmip annulled the deed of gift. His 
Lordmip's remarks on fuch kinds of impo- 
fition are very curious, and worth your read- 
ing. See Colle&anea Juridica, vol. i. p. 458. 

In fad, the very beft of the methodifts 
are like children, elated or depreffed by mere 
trifles ; and many who joined them while 
young and ignorant, quit their fociety as 
they attain to years of difcretion, or as their 
judgment is better informed. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 

* 
Yours, &c. 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. in 



LETTER VIII. 

" Religion's luftre is by native innocence 

" Divinely fair, pure, and fimple from all arts ; 

" You daub and drefs her like a common miftrefs, 

" The harlot of your fancies ; and by adding 

" Falfe beauties, which {he wants not, make the world 

* f Sufpeft her angel face is foul within." 

ROWE'S Tamerlane. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JL HE enthufiaiYic notions 
which I had imbibed, and the defire I had to 
he talking about religious myfteries, &c. 
anfwered one valuable purpofe ; as it caufed 
me to embrace every opportunity to learn to 
read, fo that I could foon read the eafy parts 
of the Bible, Mr. Wedey's Hymns, &c. and 
every leifure minute was fo employed. 

In the winter I was obliged to attend my 
work from fix in the morning until ten at 
night. In the fummer half year, I only 
worked as long as we could fee without can- 
dle ; but notwithstanding the clofe attention 

I was 



ii2 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

I was obliged to pay to my trade, yet for a 
long time I read ten chapters in the Bible 
every day/ I alfo read and learned many 
hymns, and as foon as I could procure fome 
of Mr. Wefley's Trafts, Sermons, &c. I 
read them alfo ; many of them I perufed in 
Cloacinas Temple, (the place where my 
Lord Chefterfield advifed his foil to read the 
daffies, but I did not apply them after read- 
ing to the farther ufe that his LordjChip 
hints at.) 

I had fuch good eyes, that I often read by 
the light of the Moon, as my mafter would 
never permit me to take a candle into my 
room, and that prohibition I looked upon as 
a kind of perfecution, but I always comforted 
myfelf with the thoughts of my being a dear 
child of God ; and as iuch, that it was im- 
poffible for me to eicape perfecution from 
the children of the devil, which epithets I 
very pioujly applied to my good matter and 
miftrefs. And fo ignorantly and imprudently 
zealous (being a real methodift) was I for 

the 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 113 

the good of their precious fouls, as fometimes 
to give them broad hints of it, and of the 
dangerous ftate they were in. Their pious 
good old minifter, the Reverend Mr. Har- 
rifon, I called " a blind leader of the blind*" 
and I more than once allured my miftrefs, 
that both he and his whole flock were in a 
ilate of damnation, being " Grangers to the- - 
hope of Ifrael, and without God in the 
world." My good miftrefs wifely thought 
that a good {tick was the heft way of arguing 
with fuch an ignorant infatuated boy as I 
was, and had often recourfe to it ; but I 
took cafe to give her a deal of trouble ; for 
whenever I was ordered in my turn to read 
in the .Bible, I always felected fuch chapters 
as I thought militated againft Arians, Soci- 
nians, &c. and fuch verfes as I deemed favour- 
able to the doctrine of Original Sin, Juflifi- 
cation by Faith, imputed Righteoufnefs, the 
doctrine of the Trinity, &c. On fuch parts I 
always placed a particular emphafis, which 
puzzled and teazed the old lady a good deal. 
F Among 



ri 4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Among other places I thought (having fo 
been taught by the methodifts) that the fix- 
teentn chapter of Ezekiel very much favoured 
the dodtrines of original fin, imputed righte- 
oufnefs, &c. that chapter I often felected and 
read to her, and (he as often read the 
eighteenth chapter of the fame prophecy, for 
the fake of the parable of the Father's eating 
four grapes.* 

Whenever I read in St. Paul's Epiftles on 
juftiflcation by faith alone, my good miftrefs 
would read in the Epiftle of St. James-, fuch 
paflages as fay that a man is not juftified by 
faith alone, but by faith and works, which 
often embarraffed me not a little. However 
I comforted myfelf with the conceit of having 
more texts of Scripture on my fide of the 
queftion than (he had on her fide. As to St. 
James, I was almoft ready to conclude, that 
he was not quite orthodox, and fo at laft I 
did not much mind what he faid. 



Falfe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 115 

ct Falfe opinions rooted in the mind, 
" Hoodwink the foul and keep our reafon blind. 
" In controverted points can reafon fway, 
" When paflion or conceit hurries us away ?" 

Hitherto I had not frequented the metho- 
dift meetings by the confent or knowledge of 
my matter and miftrefs ; nor had my zeal 
been fb great as to make me openly violate 
their commands. But as my zeal iricreafed 
much fafter than my knowledge, I foon dif- 
regarded their orders, and without hefitation 
ran away to hear a methodijftical fermon as 
often as I could find opportunity. One Sun- 
day morning at eight o'clock my miftrefs 
feeing her Ions fet off, and knowing that they 
were gone to a methodiil: meeting, deter- 
mined to prevent me from doing the fame by 
locking the door, which me accordingly did; 
on which in a fuperftitious mood, I opened 
the Bible for direction what to do (ignorant 
methodifts often practife the fame fuperfti- 
tious method) and the firft words I read were 
thefe, " He has given his angels charge con- 
cerning thee, left at any time thou moulded: 
F 2 dafli 



n6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

dafh thy foot againft a ftone." This was 
enough for me ; fo without a moment's 
hesitation, I ran up two pair of flairs to 
my own room, and out of the window I 
leaped, to the great terror of my poor mif- 
trefs. 1 got up immediately, and ran about 
two or three hundred yards, towards the 
meeting-houfe ; but alas ! I could run no 
farther; my feet and ancles were mofl into- 
lerably bruifed, fo that I was obliged to be 
carried back and put to bed ; and it was 
more than a month before I recovered the 
ufe of my limbs. I was ignorant enough to 
think that the Lord had not ufed me very 
well, and refolved not to put fo much truftin 
him for the future. 

This my ram adventure made a great noife 
in the town, and was talked of many miles 
round. Some few admired my amazing 
ftrength of faith, but the major part pitied 
me, as a poor ignorant, deluded and infa- 
tuated boy; which did not at all pleafe, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 117 

LETTER IX. 

' One makes the rugged paths fo fmooth and even, 

" None bur an ill-bred man can mifs of heaven. 

" Another quits hi- ftockings, breeches, Ihirt, 

' Becaufe he fancies virtue dwells in dirt : 

" While all concur to take away the ftrefs, 

'* From weightier points, and lay it on the lefs." 

STILLING Ft EET on Converfation. 
* 

" 'Gad I've a thriving traffic in my eye, 
" Near the mad manfions of Moorfields I'll bawl ; 
" Friends, fathers, mothers, fitters, fons and all, 
" Shut up your (hops, and liiten to my call. 

FOOTE. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JLN the fourth year of my ap- 
prenticefhip, my matter died ; now although 
he was a good hulband, a good father, and 
a good matter, &c. yet as he had not the 
mtthodiflical faith, and could not pronounce 
the Shibboleth of that feft, "I pioujly feared 
that he was gone to hell. 

My miftrefs thought that his death was 

battened by his uneafy reflections on the 

F 3 bad 



n8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

bad behaviour of his fons, after they com- 
menced methodifts, as before they^fvere con- 
verml each was dutiful and attended to his 
trade, but after they became faints they 
attended fo much to their fpiritual concerns 
that they acted as though they fuppofed they 
were to be fed and cloathed by miracles, like 
Mr. Huntingdon, who informs us in his 
book called " The Bank of Fa/ith," that the 
Lord lent him a pair of breeches, that a 
dog brought him mutton to eat, fifri died at 
night in a pond on purpofe to be eaten by 
him in the morning ; money, and in mort 
every thing he could defire he obtained by 
prayer. Thus as Foote fays, 

" With labour, toil, all fecond means difpenfe, 
* ' And live a rent-charge upon providence. 

To give you a better idea of metho- 
diftical ignorance and neglect of ordinary 
means of living, &c. I will relate one 
inftance more. Mary "Hubbard (an old 
woman of Mr. Wefley's fociety) would 
often wafli her linen, hang it out to dry, 
and go away to work in the fields, or to 

Taunton 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 119 

Taunton marker, four miles from her houfe ; 
and whefc blamed, me would anfvver "that 
the Lord watched over her, and all tr^lhe 
had, and that he would prevent any perfon 
from ftealing her two old fmocks, or if he 
permitted them to be ftolen, he would fend 
her two new in their ftead." And I feriouily 
allure yon, fir, that there are many thouland 
Mary Hubbards amongft the methodiits. 

As I had been bound to my miltrefs as 
well as my mailer, I was of courfe an appren- 
tice (IS1L But after my matter's death I ob- 
tained more liberty of confcienre (as I called 
it) fo that I not only went to hear the me- 
thodift fermons, but was alfo admitted into 
their fociety ; and I believe they never had 
a more devout enthufiaftical member; for 
feveral years I regularly attended every fer- 
monand all their private meetings. 

As you are probably unacquainted with 
the nature of thefe private meetings, a fhort 
account of them may perhaps afford you 
fome amufement. 

F 4 ' The 



120 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

The late Mr. Wefley inftituted amongft 
his people, befides the public pr*ichings, 
feve^l kinds of private meetings ; and as 
the prayer-meeting is the leafl private of any 
of them, I will firft take notice of that. 

To the prayer-meetings, which were in 
general held in private houfes, they often 
invited people who were not of their fociety. 
An hymn was firft fung, then they all knelt, 
and the firft perfon who felt a motion, made 
an extemporary prayer ; when he had done 
another began, and fo on, for about two 
hours. 

But it fo happened fometimes, that one of 
the brethren began to pray without having 
the gift of prayer (as they call it), and then 
he often ftuck faft, like fome of the young 
orators at Coach-maker's Hall, &c. Prayer- 
meetings were held in fnch high efteem 
amongft them that they aflerted, more were 
"born again" and more " made free from all 
the remains of fin," or in other words of their 
own, " mate perfett as God is perfect," m 

thefe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 121 

thefe kinds of meeting, than at public preach- 
ing, &c. Thus, as Pomfret fays, 

* 

" The fpirits heated will ftrange things produce." 

But it is impoffible for yon, my friend, to 
form any juft idea of thefe aflemblies, except 
you had been preferit at them : one wheedles 
and coaxes the Divine Being, in his addreffes ; 
another is amorous and lufcious ; and a third 
fo rude and commanding, he will even tell 
the Deity that he mufl be a liar if he does 
not grant all they afk. In this manner will 
they work up one another's imaginations 
until they may actually be faid to be in a ftate 
of intoxication, and whilft in this intoxicated 
flate, it often happens that fome of them 
recollect a text of fcripture, fuch as, " thy fins 
are forgiven thee," or " go and fin no more," 
&c. and then they declare themfelves to be 
born again, or to be fanc\ifled, &c. 

They have another kind of private meet- 
ing after the public preaching on Sunday 
evenings, in which the preacher meets all 

the 



122 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

the members of the fociety, \vho ftay behind 
after the general congregation is difmifled. 
To fliis fociety the preacher gave fuch 
advice as he deemed better fuited to a godly 
few than to a promifcuous multitude of 
" outward court worihippers." 

Their Love-jeq/l is alfo a private meeting 
of as many members of the community as 
pleafe to attend ; and they generally come 
from all parts, within feveral miles of the 
place where love-feafts are held. 

When all are met they alternately iing and 
pray; and fuch amongft them as think that 
their experience (as they call it) is remark- 
able, (land up in their place and relate all 
the tranfadions between God, the devil, and 
their fouls. At fuch feafons as this I have 
heard many of them declare they had jufl 
received the pardon of all their fins while 
Brother fuch-a-one was in prayer ; another 
would then get up and affert that he was 
juft at that inftant made perfectly free from 
fin. 

At 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 123 

At thefe times the Spirit is fuppofed to 
be very powerfully at work amongft them ; 
and fuch an unifon of fighipg and grdaning 
fucceeds, that you would think they had all 
loft their fenfes. In this frantic ftate, many 
apply to themfelves fuch texts of fcripture 
as happen to come into their heads. 

In the Love-feaft they have buns to eat, 
which are mutually broken between each 
brother and fifter, and they have alfo ivater 
to drink, which they hand from one to 
another. Thefe meetings begin about feven 
o'clock, and laft until nine, or ten. 

In London, Briftol, and other large places, 
they have fome private meetings, unknown 
to the community at large. Thefe meetings 
confift of all married men at one time, young 
and unmarried men at another time : the 
married women by themfelves, and the 
{ingle women by themfelves ; and to each of 
thefe claffes Mr. Wefley went, and gave 
fuch advice or exhortations as he thought 
fuitable to their fituation in life, feldom fail- 
ing 



124 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ing to fpeak much in praife of celibacy, to 
the Maids and Bachelors under his paftoral 
care. I will in my next give you an ac- 
count of their watch-nights, clafs- meetings, 
bands, and other particulars. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 



Yours, &c. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 125 



LETTER X. 



Here Gamaliel fage 



* Trains up his babes of grace, inftrufted well 

" In all the difcipline of prayer j 

" To point the holy leer : by juft degrees 

" To clofe the twinkling eyes expand the palms, 

" To expofe the whites, and with the fightlefs balls 

" To glare upon the crowd : to rife, to fink 

" The docile voice; now murm'ring foft and flow, 

" With inward accent calm, and then again, 

" In foaming floods of rapt'rous eloquence 

" Let loofe the ftorm, and thunder thro' the nofe 

" The threatened vengeance." 

SOMERVILLE. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

A H E Watch-night begins 
about feven o'clock. They fmg hymns, 
pray, preach, {ing, and pray again; then 
exhort, ling and pray alternately, until twelve 
o'clock. The hymns which they fing on 
. thofe nights, were wrote for fuch occalions, 
and abound with gloomy ideas, which are 
increafed by the time of night ; and it muft 
be remarked, that the major part of thofe 

who 



126 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

who attend thefe no&urrial meetings having 
fafled the whole of the day (according to 
Mr. Wefley's orders) are in a very proper 
ffote of mind to entertain the moft extrava- 
gant whims or enthufiaftic notions that can 
poflibly enter the heads of any vifionaries. 
So that fuch nights are often very prolific, 
as numbers are faid to be born again, and 
become the temples of the Holy Ghoft on 
watch-nights, which makes thofe nights 
efteemed by them. 

Mr. Welley, in every place where his peo- 
ple were numerous, had divided them into 
claffes, confuting of twelve or fourteen bro- 
thers or fitters. Sometimes men and women 
met together in the fame clafs (as they called 
it) and other clafles confifted of all men or 
all women. Each of thefe clafles had one in 
it who was called the leader. In fuch clafles 
where men and women meet together, the 
leader was always a brother : and fo of courfe 
when the clafs confided of men alone. But 

in 



LIFE OF J.'LACKINGTON. 127 

in the women's clatfes a fitter was always the 
leader. 

When they met together, the .leader firft 

gave out an hymn, which they all fang ; 

after the hymn they all knelt, and their 

leader made an extemporary prayer ; after 

which they were feated, and when the leader 

had informed them of the ftate of his own 

mind, he enquired of all prefent, one after 

another, how they found the ftate of their 

fouls. Some he found were full of faith and 

affurance, others had dreadful doubts and 

fears; fome had horrid temptations ; others 

complained of a lukewarm ilate, &c. In thefe 

meetings, fome of the members fpoke of 

themfelves, as though they were as pure as 

angels are in heaven, but with the generality 

of them, it was far otherwife, and nothing was 

more common among them than to hear the 

major part exclaiming againft themfelves, and 

declaring that they were the mod vile and 

abandoned wretches on this fide hell, that 

they wondered why the earth did not open 

and 



ia8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

and fwallow them up alive. But they gene- 
rally added, that " the blood of Chrift cleanfes 
from all fin," and that " where fin abounded 
there would grace much more abound." 
Indeed it was eafy to remark that the reafon 
why they painted themfelves in fuch odious 
colours, was only to boaft of an aftoniming 
quantity of grace that God had beftowed on 
them, in thus pardoning all their abomina- 
tions and numbering them with the houfehold 
of faith, who ought to have been fhut up in 
the nethermoft hell. To each of thefe the 
leader gave a word of comfort, or of correc- 
tion in the beft manner he was able. They 
then fang and prayed again. This lafted 
about one hour. And every one in Mr. 
Wefley's connexion did, or was expected to 
meet, each in his own clafs once in a week. 
In thefe claiTes each made a weekly contribu- 
tion towards the general fupport of the 
preachers, &c. Such as were very poor con- 
tributed a penny per week, others two-pence, 
and fome who couW^fford it iixpence. This 
money was entered in a book kept for that 

purpofe, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 129 

purpofe, and one in every clafs called the 
fteward, had the care of the cam. 

I now come to fpeak of the Bands, which 
confifted only of jujllfed perfons ; that is 
fuch as had received the affurance of their fins 
being pardoned. In the claffes, both the 
awakened (as they call them) and the jufti- 
fied, and even thofe that were made perfeft 
met all together, as did the married and the 
fingle, and often men and women. But none 
were admitted into any band but fuch as were 
at leaft in a juflified flate, and the married 
of each fex met by themfelves, and the 
fingle by themfelves. About ten was the 
number generally put in one band ; all thefe 
muft belong to and meet in fome clafs, once 
a week, when not hindered by ficknefs, &c, 
and they were alfo to meet weekly in their 
band. When met, they firft fung, then 
made a fhort prayer ; that done, the band- 
leader informed them of the ftate of his mind 
during the laft week, &c. He then made in- 
quiry into the flate of all prefent, and each 
G related 



i 3 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

related what had paiTed fince they laft met ; 
as what vifitations they had received from 
God, what temptations from the devil, the 
flefh, &c. And it is a maxim amongft them 
that expofing to one another what the 
devil has particularly tempted them to com- 
init, will make the old fellow more careful 
how he tempts, when he knows that all his 
fecrets will be told the next meeting. In 
the claffes they only confefled in general 
terms, that they have been tempted by the 
world, the flem and the devil. But in the 
bands they confeifed the particular fins 
which they had been tempted to commit, 
or had actually committed. 

The laft time I met in band was in Lon- 
don, where an old man (near feventy years 
of age) informed us that he had for feveral 
weeks together laboured under a very griev- 
ous temptation of the devil, who all this 
time had been conftantly tempting him to 
commit adultery; he farther informed us, 
that having let too much of his houfe to lodg- 
ers, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 131 

gers, they were obliged to put the maid's bed 
in the room where he and his wife flept ; 
and that one morning he had feen the maid 
lying afleep, nearly or quite uncovered, and 
he again affured us that ever fince that time 
the devil had been every day tempting him to 
do that which was nought with the maid. 
I could not help thinking the old gentleman 
was right in charging it on the devil, as there 
was little reafon to think it was any tempta- 
tion of theflejh. Permit me to add, that this 
old buck had a wife about half his own age. 
I have been informed that fome young men 
of the brotherhood, have at times difguifed 
themfelves in women's clothes, and have fb 
got into the women's bands ; it may be very 
curious to hear the confeffions of the holy 
fitters. By this time I fuppofe you have had 
enough of band-meetings. 

Mr. Wefley inftituted another kind of pri- 
vate meeting for the higheft order of his peo- 
ple, called the Jelett bands; to which none 
were admitted but fuch as were fanctified, or 
G 2 made 



i 3 2 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

made pcrfeft in love, and freed from all the 
remains of fin. But as I never profeffed^r- 
feftion, I was not permitted to enter into this 
holy of holies. But I have known a great 
number of thefe perfect faints, of both fexes ; 
and I alfo lived in the fame houfe a whole 
year with one of thefe intire holy fitters. 
A few days before I came to live in Chifwell- 
Street, one of thefe perfect fitters was de- 
tected in ttealing coals out of the med of one 
of the fan&ified brothers, but me, like the 
old fellow above mentioned, faid it was the 
devil that tempted her to do it. 

Four times every year new tickets are dif- 
tributed to all Mr. Wefley's people through- 
out the three kingdoms. Their ticket is a 
very fmall flip of paper, with a text of fcrip- 
ture on it, which is exchanged every quarter 
for fome other text. Such as are only in a 
clafs, have a different text from fuch as are 
in a band, fo that no one can be admitted into 
a general meeting of the bands, appointed by 
any of the preachers when he intends to give 
them an exhortation, nor into any particular 

band, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 133 

band, by a common fociety ticket. On the 
common tickets are fuch texts as thefe : 
44 Now is the accepted time." " Awake 
thou that fleepefl," and fuch like. But 
thofe for the bands arc in a higher ftrain ; 
as, " Be ye perfect as your heavenly father is 
perfea." " Go on unto perfection."-" Ye 
are children of the light." " Your bodies are 
temples of the Holy Ghoft;" and other texts 
of a fimilar tendency. For thefe tickets, each 
poor perfon paid one (hilling, fuch as were 
rich paid more ; indeed the money feemed to 
be the principal end of ifiuing tickets, at 
leaft in country places, the members in the 
community being fo well known to each 
other, that they fcarce ever (hewed their 
tickets in order to gain admittance. I forgot 
to inform you that prayer- meetings, clafs- 
meetings, band-meetings, &c. were in gene- 
ral held in private houfes, belonging to iome 
of the brethren. 

1 am, dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 

G q LETTER 



134 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XL 

" StifF in opinions, always in the wrong ; 

** Was every thing by ftarts and nothing long." 

* * * * * * 

tf Then all for women, panting, rhiming, drinking, 
*' Befides ten thoufand freaks that died in thinking." 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JL OU now fee what fort of a 
fociety I was got into. In country places par- 
ticularly, they confift of farmers, hufband- 
men, fhoemakers, woolcombers, weavers, 
their wives, &c. I have heard Mr. Wefley 
remark that more women are converted than 
men ; and I believe that by far the greatefl 
part of his people are females ; and not a 
few of them four, difappointed old maids, 
with fome others of a lefs prudifh difpofition. 

Lavater in his effay on phyilognomy fays, 
" Women fink into the moft incurable me- 
lancholy, as they alfo rife to the moft en- 
raptured 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. i^ 

raptured heights " In another place he fays, 
*' By the irritability of their nerves, their 
incapability for deep inquiry and firm deci- 
fion, they may eafily from their extreme 
fenfibility, become the moil irreclaimable, 
the mofl rapturous enthuiiafis." 

There are thoufands in this focicty who 
will never read any thing befides the Bible, 
and books published by Mr. Wefiey. For 
feveral years I read very little elfe, nor would 
I go (at lead very feldom) to any other place 
of worfhip ; fo that inftead of hearing the 
fenfible and learned miniflers of Taunton, I 
would often go four, five, or fix miles, to 
fome country village, to hear an infpired 
huibandman, fhoemaker, blackfmith, or 
woolcomber ; and frequently in froft and 
fnow have I rofe a little after midnight (not 
knowing what time of night it was) and 
have wandered about the town until five 
o'clock, when the preaching began; where 
I have often heard a fermon preached to not 
more than ten or a dozen people. But fuch 
04 of 



j 3 6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

of us as did attend at this early hour, ufed 
afterwards to congratulate each other on the 
great privilege we enjoyed, then off we went 
to our work, Ihivering with cold. 

I was firfl converted to methodifm when I 
was about fixteen years of age, from that 
time until I was twenty-one I was a very fin- 
cere enthufiaft, and every fpare hour I enjoyed 
I dedicated to the ftudy of the Bible, reading 
methodiftica! books, learning hymns, hearing 
fermons, meeting in focieties, &c. My me- 
mory was very tenacious, fo that every thing 
I read I made my own. I could have repeated 
ieveral volumes of hymns; when I heard a 
fermon, I could have preached it again, and 
nearly in the fame words ; my Bible had 
hundreds of leaves folded down, and thou- 
fands of marks againft fuch texts as I thought 
favoured the doctrines (or whims) which I 
had imbibed. So that I flood forth as the 
champion of methodifm wherever I came. 

But alas ! my godly ftria life at length 
fuffered interruption. I will give you a far- 
ther 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 137 

farther account of the methodifts when I 
come to the time when I finally left their 
foci cry. 

The election for two members of Parlia- 
ment was ftrongly contefted at Taunton, juft 
as I attained my twenty-firft year ; and being 
now of age, the fix or feven months, which 
I had to ferve of my apprenticefhip were . 
purchafed of my miftrefs by fome friends of 
two of the contending candidates ; fo that I 
was at once fet free in the midft of a fcene 
of riot and diffipation. 

" Prefent Example gets within our guard, 

" And afts with double force, by few repell'd." 

YOUNG. 

" Nor (hame, nor honour could prevail, 
" To keep rae thus from turning tail." 

As I had a vote, and was alfo poffefTed of 
a few ideas above thofe of my rank and fitua- 
tion, my company was courted by fome who 
were in a much higher fphere; and (probably 
what they partly intended) in fuch company 
I foon forgot my godly or methodiftical con- 

riedions, 



138 LIFE OF J. LACK'INGTON. 

ne&ions, and ran into the oppofite extreme : 
fo that for feveral months moil of my fpare 
hours were devoted to the 

" Young-ey'd God of Wine ! Parent of joys ! 
" Frolic and full of thee, \vhile the cold fons 
*' Of temperance, the fools of thought and care, 
" Lay ftretch'd in fober flumbers." 

MALLET'S Eurydice. 

Here I had nearly funk for ever into 
meannefs, obfcurity and vice ; for when the 
ele&ion was over, I had no longer open 
houfes to eat and drink in at free coft. 

However I did not fink quite fo low as the 
commonalty of journeymen fhoemakers, but 
in general worked very hard, and fpent my 
money in better company. 

Notwithstanding, at times I was very un- 
eafy, and although I had not been at any 
methodiftical meeting during the time that 
I had lived this diffipated life, yet my mind 
xvas not freed intirely from the fuperflitioUs 
fears I had there imbibed ; fo that whenever 
any perfon afked me, vrhat would become of 



me 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 139 

me (that had lived fuch a holy life) if I 
mould die in the ftztt of back/tiding from " the 
good old way ? >J 1 always acknowledged that 
I fhould be eternally damn'd, were that to be 
the cafe. But I muft confefs that I was not 
much afraid of dying in fuch a ftate, as I was 
too much prepoffefled with the methodifKcal 
notions of free grace, that would not let me 
finally be loft, prefuming that I muft wait as 
it were for zfecond call to repentance, juftifi-* 
cation, &c. which I had been taught to be- 
lieve might take place inflantaneoufly, and 
put the devil to flight in a hurry, and fo 
matters would be all right again. 

I often privately took the Bible to bed with 
me, and in the long fummer mornings read 
for hours together in bed, but this did not 
in the leaft influence my conduct. As you 
know great events often arife from little 
caufes, 1 am now going to relate a cireum- 
ftance, trivial in itfelf, though productive of 
a more confiderable change in my iituation, 
than any I had yet experienced. 

I was 



14-0 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

I was twenty-one years of age the i ith of 
September 1767, the election was over the 
latter end of March 1 768. It was in this year 
that my new matter's wife infilled on my 
purchafing milk of a milk-maid who was a 
cuftomer at the fhop ; which command I 
refufed to comply with, as I had a fmart 
little milk-maid of my own. But as my 
miftrefs ivore the breeches, my matter was 
obliged, by his wife's order, to inform me 
that I mutt comply with her mandate, or get 
another matter. I left him without hefita- 
tion ; and the fame afternoon went to Wel- 
lington, took leave of my father and mo- 
ther, and informed them of my intention to 
go to Brittol. After two or three days, I 
returned back to Taunton, where 1 ttayed 
a day or two more. In which time I be- 
came enamoured with, or infatuated by, the 
beautiful Nancy "Trott : and although I faw 
the impropriety of the meafure, yet I could 
not refitt the fair tempter, who prevailed 
with me to permit her to accompany me 
in my journey. 

" Reafon 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 141 

" Reafon was given to curb our headftrong will, 
" And yet but (hews a weak phyfician's. flcill ; 
" Gives nothing while the raging fit does laft, 
" But ftays to cure it when the worft is paft. 
" Reafon's a ftafFfor age, when Nature's gone ; 
" But Youth is ilrong enough to walk alone." 

DRYDEN'S Con. of Gran. 

We refted a week in Bridgewater, where I 
worked and got money to convey us to Ex- 
bridge, fe ven teen miles on this fide Briftol; 
and there I faw my conduit in fuch a point 
of view as made me refolve to leave her. 

<f In well-feign'd accidents, now they hail my ear, 

" My life, my love, my charmer, or my dear." 

" As if thefe founds, thefe joylefs founds could prove 

" The fmalleft particle of genuine love. 

" O! purchas'dlove, retail'd through half the town. 

* Where each may mare on paying half-a-crown j 

" Where every air of tendernefs is art, 

And not one word the language of the heart ; 

" Where all is mockery of Cupid's reign, 

c End in remorfe, in wretchednefs aad pain. 

Art of living in London. 

My finances amounted to three millings and 
one penny, out of which I gave her half-a- 
crown, 



i 4 2 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

crown, and with the remaining fevenpence, 
without informing her of my purpofe, I fet 
off for Briftol ; where I arrived in a few 
hours, and got work the fame evening. 

A few days after, I went to the inn where 
the Taunton carrier put up, to enquire after 
Mifs Trott, as I wanted to know if me had 
returned fafe to Taunton. I was informed 
that (he was in Briftol nearly as foon as I 
was. Knowing hut little of the world, and 
flill lefs of women of her defcription, I 
was quite unhappy on her account, for fear 
that being in a ftrange place me might be in 
want and diftrefs ; which thought induced 
me to offer tofeveral of my countrymen five 
millings to the firft who mould bring me an 
account where I might find her j but I did 
not fee her until feveral weeks after that. 

The Taunton Carrier gave me a letter from 
my good Miftrefs Bowden (who by marry- 
ing again had changed her name to Dingle.). 
The contents of this letter very much fur- 
prifed me. Jt informed me that a day or two 

The 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 143 

before I fell out with my Jaft miftrefs (which 
was the trifling caufe of my leaving Taun- 
ton) Betty Tucker, a common lafs, had fworn 
a child to me ; that the parifh officers had 
been to my matter's (hop within an hour 
after I had left it to go to Wellington, and 
that they bad-been at Wellington juft as I 
had left that place, and afterwards hearing 
that I was in Bridgewater they had purfued 
me thither. But the morning on which 
they arrived, I had fet off for Exbridge - t and 
Relieving that I had intentionally fled before 
them, they had given over the chafe for 
the prefent. 

Reflecting on this affair, although my 
conduct was very far from entitling me to 
entertain fuch a fuppofition, yet I was then 
weak enough to imagine, that being a par- 
ticular favourite of heaven a kind of miracle 
had been wrought to fave me from a prifon, 
or from marrying a woman I could not 
bear the idea of living with a fingle week ; 

and as I had not any knowledge of her being 

with 



144- LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

with child (not having feen her for three 
months before) I had not taken any meafure 
to avoid the confequence, but put myfelf in 
the way of the officers : for, as I have juft 
told you, after I had taken leave of my 
father and mother, I went back to Taunton, 
and walked about publicly one whole day, 
and part of another. 

This girl was delivered about two months 
afterwards of a ftill-born child, fo that I was 
never troubled for expences. Methinks you 
are ready to fay with Pomfret, 

" 'Tis eafy to defccnd into the fnare, 
" By the pernicious conduct of the Fair: 
" But fafely to return from their abode 
" Requires the wit, the prudence of a God." 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. ' 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON.' 145 



LETTER XII. 



Learn to fcan 



" The various foibles of imperfeft man." 

Art of Living in London. 

DEAR FRIEND, . v 

1HE fubjea of my lad recalls 
to my mind a ridiculous affair, which excited 
much mirth in that part of the country. 

During the Ele6tion at Taunton, a gentle- 
man one day came in a poft-chaife to the 
White-hart Inn, kept by Mr. Baldwin, and 
after having refrefhed himfelf, flrolled into 
the yard, and feeing the hoftler, aflted him 
if he could inform him where they took in 
the news ? The hoftler underftanding him in 
a literal fenfe, di reeled him to a bookfeller's 
(hop on the oppofite fide of the way ; this 
ihop was kept by Mifs A d n, a beautiful 
young lady of irreproachable character, and 
one whofe fine underflanding and polifhed 
tafte did honour to the profeffion ; which 
profeffion (he only adopted for an amufement, 
as file poffefled an independent fortune. 

H Our 



146 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

Our gentleman on entering the (hop, en- 
quired of the fhopmaid for her rm'ftrefs, but 
the maid being ufed to ferve in the (hop, and 
knowing that her miftrefs had fome ladies 
with her, informed the gentleman that (He 
could help him to any thing that he wanted. 
But on his faying he had fome private bufi- 
nefs with her miftrefs, he was (hewed into 
a back parlour, and the miftrefs being in- 
formed a gentleman wanted to fpeak to her, 
me went directly to him. The moment fhe 
entered the room, he clafped her in his arms, 
called her a divine creature, &c. This fo 
^alarmed Mifs A d n, that me fcreamed 
aloud; on hearing of which, the ladies, pre- 
ceded by the houfemaid and fhopmaid re- 
paired to the parlour, where they found Mifs 
A d n almoft in fits. The gentleman 
thinking that it was only a trick to raife her 
price, took but little notice, on which one 
of the maids ran out and called in feveral of 
the neighbours, who on coming into the par- 
lour, faw with aftonifhment our Sir Harry 
Wildair taking improper liberties with Mifs 

A d n 5 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 147 

A d n, and defired him to defift. But he 
defired them not to attempt to put tricks on 
travellers, and ordered them to leave the 
room. Inftead of obeying his injunctions 
they in a refolute tone ordered our fpark to go 
inftantly about his bufinefs. However he 
ftill kept his ground, until the mayor of the 
town, who happened to live juft by, was 
called in. Mr. Mayor demanded to know 
why he took fuch freedom with the lady ? 
Our gentleman, feeing that the affair began 
to look very ferious, now became calm, and 
informed the company that having an incli- 
nation for a frolic, he had enquired for a bad 
houfe, and had been directed there ; adding 
that if there had been any miftake, he was 
very forry for it, and would beg the lady's 
pardon. On hearing this, the company was 
more furprized than before, and demanded of 
the gentleman, who had informed him that 
that houfe was a bawdy-houfe ? He, without 
hefitation replied, the hoftler at the White 
Hart. Upon this the hoiller was fent for, 
and on his being aiked, if he had directed 
H 2 that 



148 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that gentleman, to Mifs A d n's as to a 
bawdy-houfe ? The poor fellow, with marks 
of terror and furprife anfwered, No. The 
Gentlemen never afked me for a bawdy- 
houfe, he only alked me for a houfe where 
they took in the news. So that the hoftler's 
undemanding him in a literal fenfe, caufed 
all the confufion. The affair however had 
got fo much air that our fpark was glad to 
leave the town immediately. 

A very flrange unaccountable circum- 
ftance happened in this Inn, about the fame 
time ; one of thofe occurrences that puzzle 
the philofopher, and flrengthen fuperftition 
in weak minds. Three or four gentlemen of 
the neighbourhood were drinking wine in 
one of the rooms, when the landlord of the 
Inn (as it appeared to them) walked into the 
room, and- coming up to the table, around 
which they were feated, they addrefled him 
with Mr. Baldwin, how do you do ? fit down 
and take a glafs of wine with us.; but inftead 
of doing as requefled, the fuppofed Inn- 
keeper 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 149 

keeper walked out of the room, without 
making any reply ; which not only furprized, 
but offended the company, who rung the 
bell violently, and on the waiter's appearance, 
they ordered him to fend in his mafter. 
The waiter informed them that his mafter 
was not at home. The gentlemen replied 
that he was at home a few minutes fince, and 
therefore they infifted on feeing him ; but 
the man aflured them they were miftaken, as 
his matter was in Briftol, and had been there 
feveral days. They then ordered the waiter to 
fend in Mrs. Baldwin, who immediately 
appearing, the gentlemen afked her where 
Mr. Baldwin was, and me informed them as 
the waiter had already done, that he was in 
Briftol, and had been there feveral days, on 
which the gentlemen grew very angry, and 
fwore that Mr. Baldwin had juft before come 
into the room, and on their requefting him 
to partake of their wine, had infulted them by 
going out of the room, without deigning to 
give them an anfwer. Mrs. Baldwin, then 
drew out of her pocket a letter me had that 
H 3 morning 



J5 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

morning received from Mr. Baldwin, by 
which it was apparent, that he really was 
in Briftol. The ftory was then told round the 
neighbourhood, and all the old women con- 
cluded that Mr. Baldwin muft certainly be 
dead, and that he died at the very inftant that 
fhe gentlemen faw him come into the room ; 
but Mr. Baldwin returning two days after, 
rendered it neceflary for them to vary their 
ilory ; they then aflerted that it was a token, 
or fome warning of his death, and had no 
doubt but it would very foon happen. It 
was generally thought that Mr. Baldwin was 
weak enough to pay fuch attention to the 
fiery and the inference, as to hurt his 
health, as he really died within a year after, 
and the old women were not a little pleafed 
at the event, as it tended to juftify the truth 
of their prediction, 

A more ridiculous affair happened about 
ten years fmce, at the two Bells, oppofite 
Whitechapel Church. The landlord was 
fitting one night with fome jovial company, 
one of whom happening to fay that he prayed 

to 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 151 

to God, that fuch a thing mould not come 
to pafs, the landlord replied in a good 
humoured manner, your prayers will neither 
do good or harm ; upon which the other faid 
a deal to perfuade the hoft that his prayers 
would do great things ; but the more he faid 
inpraife of his prayers, the more the landlord 
laughed at, and ridiculed him. The man at 
laft inflfted that he could pray the landlord 
to death in two months time, and offered 
to bet him a crown bowl of punch to the 
truth of it, which the landlord accepting, the 
wager was laid, and almoft every night after 
this, the man came to the houfe, and con- 
ftantly laughed at the landlord, and aflured 
him that he would lofe his wager; and how- 
ever ftrange it may appear, our hoft did die 
within the time, and his widow paid the 
wager. I think there cannot remain a doubt 
but that the ridiculous talk of the fellow 
actually affected the landlord's mind, and 
haftened his death, and the following in- 
ftances tend alfo to (hew how eafily the 
lives of fome are ihortened. 

H 4 Jofeph 



152 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

Jofeph Scales, Efq. about five years (nice, 
in turning fhort one day in o-ne of the 
Greets of London, met a man whom he had 
not feen for fome time, and innocently 
addrefled him with, Ha ! what are you alive 
yet ! which had fuch an effect on the poor 
man that he died a few hours after. 

Being at Briftol about four years flnce, I 
enquired after a worthy leatherfeller whom 
1 had formerly known, and was informed that 
he was lately dead, and that his death was 
fuppofed to have been haftened by a famous 
fortuneteller, who having caft his nativity, 
declared that he would die within fix months, 
which affected his mind fo as to accomplish the 
prediction. The flory of the late Dr. Phcairn, 
of Edinburgh, and the collier is^well known. 

I have fet down the above inftances, in 
order to mew how eafy it is to trifle away 
the lives of our fellow creatures, and furely 
fuch who wantonly do it, mufl afterwards 
have very gloomy reflections. 

I am, dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 153 



LETTER XIII. 

" I had a Friend that lov'd me : 

" I was his Soul : he liv'd not but in roe. 

' We were fo clofe link'd in each other's breaft, 

" The rivets were not found that join'd us firft. 

DRY DEN'S All for Love. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

AN my laft I mentioned my 
arrival at Briftol, where I took a lodging in 
a ftreet, called (1 think) Queen-Street, in 
Caftle-ftreet, at the houfe of a Mr. James ; 
a much more decent refidence, than com- 
monly falls to the lot of journeymen fhoe- 
makers. 

'In this houfe I found a Mr. John Jones, a 
genteel young man, juft turned of twenty-one 
years of age : He was alfo a fon of Crifpin, 
and made women's fluff (hoes; which he 
fold by the dozen to warehoufes. This Mr. 
Jones and I were foon very intimate ; we 
kept ourfelves neatly dreffed, and in general 

worked 



,54 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

worked hard, fpending our money chiefly in 
the company of women. As, 

" All men have follies, which they blindly trace, 
" Thro' the dark turnings of a dubious maze. 
" But happy thofe, who by a prudent care, 
" Retreat betimes from the fallacious fnare." 

POMFRET. 

We followed this courfe about four months. 
During this time Mr. Jones once perfuaded 
me to go with him to the Playhoufe, where 
we faw Shakefpear's fine comedy of " As you 
like it." This was a feaft indeed to me, who 
had never before feen nor even read any thea- 
trical production. 'Tis impoflible for me to 
defcribe my fenfations on the occafion. 
Between the play and the entertainment 
(which was the Mayor of Garrat) Mr. 
Edward Shuter performed a mort piece called 
" The drunken man.*' This was the only 
time that I ever faw that extraordinary 
genius, but he made fuch an impreffion on 
my mind, that it is impoffible I ever mould 
forget him. I believe it is not generally 
known, and as few would ever have fufpected, 

that 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 155 

that this child of Momus was alfo a child of 
grace. 

Since the publication of the firfl edition of 
thefe memoirs, I have read * 4 The memoirs 
of Mr. Tate Wilkmfbn," patentee of the 
Theatres Royal of York and Hull, and was 
much furprized to learn that the famous Ned 
Shuter was a gracious foul. I will give you a 
paflage or two out of Mr. Wilkinfon's me- 
moirs, vol. iii, page 27, &c. " My imitation 
of Whitefield was beyond compare. Mr. 
Foote was flruck by ftepping in by chance, 
and once hearing Whitefield ; the mixture of 
whofe abfurdity, whim, confequence and 
extravagance, pleafed his fancy, and enter- 
tained him highly, as Whitefield was that 
day dealing out damnation, fire and brim- 
ftone, as cheerfully as if they were fo many 
bleffings. What pity it is that our fears 
only, and not our reafon, will bring convic- 
tion ; but reafon handed by unaffected pure 
piety and religion would be a day of woe 
to methodifm." 

Mr. 



156 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" Mr. Foote was only a fpy at Whitefield's 
academy, while I (fays Mr. Wilkinfon) had 
been a zealot for fome feafons before my 
encounter at Covent-Garden with Mr. Foote, 
my attendance had been conftant with my 
friend Shuter, and as he actually was one of 
the new-born, and paid large fums to White- 
field, I was always permitted to {lay with 
him, for he really was bewildered in his 
brains, more by his wifhing to acquire ima- 
ginary grace, than by all his drinking, and 
whenever he was warm with the bottle, and 
with only a friend or two, like Maw-worm, 
he could not mind his mop, becaufe he 
thought it a fin, and wifhed to go a-preach- 
ing ; for Shuter like Maw- worm believed he 
had a call. I have gone with Shuter at fix 
in the morning of a Sunday to Tottenham- 
Court-Road, then before ten to Mr. Wefley's 
in Long-Acre ; at eleven again to Tottenham- 
Court-Road Tabernacle, dined near Bedlam 
{a very proper place for us both) with a party 
of the holy ones, went at three to Mr, 
Wefley's theatre ; then from that to White- 
field's 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 157 

field's till eight, and then {hut up, to com- 
mune with the family compadt, page 29. 
I having had fo much practice (while a zealot) 
I really obtained and exhibited a much 
ftronger likenefs of Whitefield than Mr. 
Foote did. The week before my Covent- 
Garden exhibition, I met Shuter at the 
Tabernacle ; a great coolnefs had continued 
for fome time, as we had not fpoke, or even 
looked at each other fince the breach between 
us in 1758, but as we were met together in 
a place of charity and forgivenefs to all who 
fubfcribed to the preacher, we became very 
fociable, and before Whitefield's le&ure was 
done we were perfectly reconciled : we adjourn- 
ed to the Rofe, and by three the next morning we 
were fwornjriends, and continued fo until his 
death. Ned Shuter was a lively, fpirited, 
{hrewd companion; a fuperior in natural whim 
and humour furely never inhabited a human 
bread, for what he faid and did was all his 
own, as it was with difficulty he could read 
the parts he had to play, and could not write 
at all ; he had attained to fign an order, but 

no 



158 LIFE OF J, LACKINGTON. 

no more. Nature could not here beftow 
her gifts to greater advantage, than on poor 
Ned, as what fhe gave he made fhine, not 
only confpicuoufly but brilliantly, and to 
the delight of all who knew him on or off 
the ftage ; he might truly be dubbed the child 
of nature. He was no man's enemy but his 
own, peace, reft, and happinefs, I hope he 
now poflefTes ; for, the poor, the friendlefs 
and the ftranger he often comforted, and 
when fometimes reduced by his follies, he 
never could fee a real object in mifery and 
refift giving at leaft half he was worth to his 
diftrefled fellow creature.'* Page 5, vol. iii. 
" But, O ye faints of your own creating ! I will 
preach to you : Mark ! judge not of plays and 
players, left you be judged *, thofe who are the 
moft cenforious on the infirmities of others, 
are ufually moft notorioufly guilty of far 
greater failings themfelves, and fanffiifiect 
methodiftical jlander is of all the moft fevere, 
bitter and cruel" 

Page 6. " In the comedy of the Hypocrite, 
the Colonel fays he fuppofes they go to the 

play 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 159 

play for the benefit of the brethren. Cantweli 
anfwers, " the charity covereth the fin ;" 
which was aftually the cafe, for in 1757, as 
Shuter was bountiful to the Tabernacle, Mr. 
Whltefield not only permitted^ but advlfed his 
hearers to attend Skitter's benefit ; but for that 
night only." Alas, poor Shuter ! 

It is fingular enough that about this time, 
although I could not write, yet I compofed 
lever al fongs, one of which was fold for a 
guinea ; fome were given to the Briitol 
printers, who printed them, and the ballad- 
fingers fung them about the ftreets ; on which 
occasions I was as proud as though I had 
compofed an opera. My friend Mr. Jones 
was my fecretary, who before I came to live 
with him had not the leaft relifh for books, 
and I had only read a few enthufiaflic au- 
thors, together with Pomfret's poems ; this 
lail I could almofl repeat by memory; how- 
ever I made the moft of my little Hock of 
literature, and ftrongly recommended the 
purchafing of books to Mr. Jones. But fo 

ignorant 



160 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ignorant were we on the fubjeft, that neither 
of us knew what books were fit for our pe- 
rufal, nor what to enquire for, as we had 
fcarce ever heard or feen even any title pages, 
except a few of the religious fort, which at 
that time we had no relim for. So that we 
were at a lofs how to increafe our fmall 
flock of fcience. And here I cannot help 
thinking that had Fortune thrown proper 
books in our way, we mould have imbibed 
a jufl tafte for literature, and foon made fome 
tolerable progrefs, but fuch was our obfcu- 
rity, that it was next to impoflible for us 
ever to emerge from it. 

As we could not tell what to aik for, we 
were afhamed to go into the bookfellers 
mops; and I allure you, my friend, that 
there are thoufands now in England in the 
very fame fituation : many, very many have 
come to my mop, who have difcovered an 
enquiring mind, but were totally at a lofs 
what to afk for, and who had no friend to 
dired them. 

_ Reafon 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 161 



Reafon grows apace, and calls 



" For the kind hand of an affiduous care. 
" Delightful talk ! to rear the tender thought, 
" To teach the young idea how to ftioot, 
" To pour the frefh inftruftion o'er the mind, 
" To breathe th' enlivening fpirit, and to fix 
" The gen'rous purpofe in the glowing breaft." 

THOMSON. 

One day as my friend Jones and I were 
ftrolling about the fair that is annually held 
in and near St. James's church-yard, \vefaw 
a flail of books, and in looking over the title 
pages, I met with Hobbes's Tranflation of 
Homer's Iliad and OdyfTey. I had fomehow 
or other heard that Homer was a great poet, 
but unfortunately I had never heard of Pope's 
tranflation of him, fo we very eagerly pur- 
chafed that by Hobbes.v At this ftall I alfo 
purchafed Walker's poetical paraphrafe of 
Epictetus's morals ; and home we went, 
perfectly well pleafed with our bargains. 

We that evening began with Hobbes's 

Homer; but found it very difficult for us 

to read, owing to the obfcurity of the tranf- 

I lation, 



i62 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

lation, which together with the indifferent 
language, and want of poetical merit in the 
tranftator, fomewhat difappointed us : how- 
ever we had from time to time many a hard 
puzzling hour with htm. 

But as to Walker's Epictetus, although 
that had not much poetical merit, yet it was 
very eafy to be read, and as eafily underflood. 
The principles of the Jloics charmed me fo 
much, that I made the book my companion 
wherever I went, and read it over and over 
in raptures, thinking that my mind was 
fecured againft all the fmiies or frowns of 
fortune. 

I now grew weary of difiipating my time, 
and began to think of employing my ipare 
hours in fomething morefatisfactory. For want 
of fomething elfe to do, I went one evening 
to hear Mr. John Wefley preach in Broad- 
mead, and being completely tired of the way 
of life that I had lived (more or lefs) ever 
fmce I had been out of my apprenticefhip, 
and happening to have no other purfuit or 

hobbv- 



LIFE OF j. LACKINGTON. 163 

hobby- horfe, there was a kind of vacuity in 
my mind ; in this ftate I was Very fufcepti- 
ble of any impreffions, fo that when I came 
to hear Mr. Wefley, my old fanatical notions 
returned full upon me, and I was once more 
carried away by the tide of enthufiafm. 

My friend Mr. Jones foon faw with grief 
and indignation the wonderful alteration in 
me ; who, from a gay, volatile, diffipated 
young fellow, was at once metamorphofed 
into a dull, moping, praying, pialm-finging 
fanatic, continually reprehending all about 
me for their harmlefs mirth and gaiety. 

" For Saints therafclves will often be, 
" Of gifts that coft them nothing, free." 

HtfDIBRAS. 

Nothing is more common than to fee man- 
kind run from one extreme to another : 
which was my cafe once more. 

About this time we left our habitation in 

Queen-ftreet and took lodgings of Mr. 

Jones's mother, on St. Philip's Plain, where 

lived a brother of Mr. Jones, who was about 

I 2 feventeen 



164 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

feventeen years of age. Soon after we had re- 
moved to this place, the brother, whofe name 
was Richard Jones, was permitted to work in 
the fame room with my friend and me. They 
had alfo a fitter about twenty years of age, 
who frequently joined our company. 

Our room over-looked the Church-yard, 
which contributed to increafe my gloomy 
ideas ; and I had fo much of the fpiritual quix- 
otifm in me, that I foon began to think that 
it was not enough for me to fave my own 
foul, but I ought in confciepce to attempt 
the converfion of my companions, who (I 
really believed) were in the high road to 
hell, and every moment liable to eternal dam- 
nation. Of this charitable difpofition are 
almoft all the methodifts ; who, as Hudibras 
fays, 

" Compound for fins they are inclin'd to, 
" By damning thofe they have no mind to." 

The frequency of newly-opened graves, 
which we faw from our windows, furnifhed 
me with opportunities for defcanting on the 

uncertainty 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 165 

uncertainty of life and all fublunary enjoy- 
ments; I aflured them that nothing deferved 
attention but what related to our ever- 
lafting ftate, and that they might, on their 
repentance, receive in one moment the par- 
don of all their fins, have a foretafte of the 
joys of heaven, and know that their names 
were enrolled in the book of life. I farther 
protefted that they had no time to lofe; that 
they all flood on the very verge of hell, and 
the breaking-brink of eternal torments ; with 
a great deal more of fuch edifying fluff. 

The youngeft brother foon became a con- 
vert ; and Mifs Betfy was born again foon 
after. But I had a tight job to convert my 
friend John ; he held out, and often curfed 
me heartily, and fung profane fongs all day 
long. 

But about four or five weeks after my re- 
converfion, John was alfo converted, and be- 
came a favourite of heaven, ib that we con- 
fidered ourfelves as a holy community. 

13 " who 



j66 L UFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

" Who knew the feat of ParaJife, 

*' Could tell in what degree it lies ; 

" Could deepeft myfteries unriddle, 

'* As eafily as thread a needle," 

HUDIBRAS. 

A laughable affair happened during my 
residence here, A captain of a (hip one day 
brought a parrot as a prefent to a family, the 
miftrefs of which being a method ift, hap- 
pened to have one of the preachers call in 
juft as the dinner was putting on the table, 
fo that the captain and the preacher were 
both afked to flay. As foon as the table 
was covered, the preacher began a long 
grace, in the midft of which Poll, who had 
been put in a corner of the room, cried out, 
*' D nyour eyes, tip us none of your jaw." 
This, with the 'immoderate laughter of the 
captain, entirely difconcerted the pious chap^ 
lain; at la(l he began his grace again, but he 
had not got to the end before Poll again in- 
terrupted him with '* You d n canting fon 

cj (i ft-*, h" By the above it appeared that 

the 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 167 

the captain had tutored Poll on purpofe to 
have fome fun in this canting family ; how- 
ever, the good lady of the houfe made it a 
point of confcience to have Polly converted, 
but found it utterly impoffible to erFecl: that 
great change in the methodifHcal way, that 
is, injlantaneoujly, as after (he had fcolded her 
fix months for fpeaking had words, and had 
actually taught her a part of the Lord's 
prayer, yet Poll would not entirely leave off 
her fea language, fo that it often happened 
while the good lady was teaching her to 

pray, Poll would out with, " D n your 

eyes, tumble up, you lubbers ;" and even after me 
had preached to her feveral years, fhe would 
not venture to fay that Poll was in a ftate of 
grace ; but be that as it will, Poll obtained the 
name of Method! ft, being called by the 
neighbours, The Method! ft Parrot. 

I mu ft inform you alfo that the poor 
preacher abovementioned was but juft come 
out of Wales, and underftood Engliih but 
very imperfectly, and in the courfe of his 
fermon one day he had forgot the Englilh for 
1 4 the 



i68 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

the word lamb, and after hammering a good 
while about it, he out with " Goddymighty's 
little Mutton, that took away the fins of the 
world," which caufed a good deal of diver- 
fjon among the ungodly. 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours, &c. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 169 



LETTER XIV. 

" He was a fhrewd philofopher, 

" And had read every text and glofs-over ; 
" Whate'er the crabbed'ft author hath, 
' He underftood b'implicit faith j 
" Whatever Sceptic could enquire for, 
" For every why he had a wherefore ; 
" Knew more than forty of them do, 
" As far as words and terms could go, 
* All which he underftood by rote, 
*' And as occafion ferv'd would quote; 
" No matter whether right or wrong, 
" They might be either faid or fung." 

HUDIBRAS. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JVLR. John Jones and my- 
felf were now greater friends than ever, fb 
that one would on no account flir out of the 
houfe without the other. 

Mr. Jones had the advantage of me in 
temporals, he could get more money than I 
could ; but as to grace, and fpiritual gifts, I 
had much the advantage of all our commu- 
nity j 



i 7 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

nity ; fo that I was their fpiritual direftor, 
and if they thought that any of their ac- 
quaintance held any opinions that were not 
quite found and orthodox, fuch were intro- 
duced to me, in order that I might convince 
them of their errors. In fact, I was looked 
upon as an apoflle, fo that whatever I aflerted 
was received as pure gofpel ; nor was any 
thing undertaken without my advice. 

We all worked very hard, particularly Mr. 
John Jones and me, in order to get money 
to purchafe books ; and for fome months 
every milling we could fpare was laid out at 
old book-mops, flails, &c. infomuch that 
in a mort time we had what we called a very 
good library. This choice collection con- 
fifted of Poihil on precious Faith ; Polhil on 
the Decrees; Shepherd's found Believer; 
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progrefs ; Bunyan's Good 
News for the vilefl of Sinners ; his Heavenly 
Footman ; his Grace abounding to the chief 
of Sinners ; his Life and Death of Mr. Bad- 
man ; his Holy War in the town of Manjouli 
Hervey's Meditations ; Hervey's Dialogues ; 

Rogers's 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 171 

Rogers's Seven Helps to Heaven ; Hall's Ja- 
cob's Ladder ; Divine Breathings of a devout 
Soul ; Adams on the fecond epiftle of Peter; 
Adams's Sermons on -the black Devil, the 
White Devil, 6cc. &c. Collings's Divine Cor- 
dial for the Soul ; Pearfe's Soul's Efpoufal to 
Chrift ; Erfkine's Gofpel Sonnets ; the Death 
of Abel; The Faith of God's Eleft ; Manton 
on the epiftle of St. James ; Pamble's Works ; 
Baxter's Shove for a heavy-arfed Chriftian ; 
his Call to the Unconverted ; Mary Magda- 
len's Funeral Tears Mrs, Moore's Evidences 
for Heaven ; Mead's Almoft a Chriilian ; The 
Sure Guide to Heaven ; Brooks on Affurance ; 
God's Revenge againft Murder; Brooks's 
Heaven upon Earth ; The Pathway to Hea- 
ven ; Wilcox's Guide to eternal Glory ; Der- 
ham's Unfearchable Riches of Chrift ; his 
Expofition of Revelations; Alleine's Sure 
Guide to Heaven ; The Sincere Convert ; 
Watfon's Heaven taken by Storm ; Heaven's 
Vengeance; Wall's None but Chrift ; Arif- 
totle's Maflerpiece ; Cojes orj God's Sove- 
reignty j Charnock on Providence ; Young's 

Short 



172 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Short and fure Guide to Salvation ; Wefley's 
Sermons, Journals, Trails, &c. and others 
of the fame defcription. 

We had indeed a few of a better fort, as 
Gay's Fables ; Pomfret's Poems ; Milton's 
Paradife Loft ; befides Hobbes's Homer, and 
Walker's Epi&etus, mentioned in my laft 

letter. 

But what we wanted in judgment in 
choofing our library, we made up in applica- 
tion ; fo anxious were we to read a great deal, 
that we allowed ourfelves but about three 
hours ileep in twenty- four, and for fome 
months together we never were all in bed at 
the fame time ; (Sunday nights excepted.) 
But left we fhould overfleep the time allowed, 
one of us fat up to work until the time ap- 
pointed for the others to rife, and when all 
were up, my friend John and your humble 
fervant, took it by turns to read aloud to the 
reft, while they were at their work. 

But this mad fcheme of ours had nearly 
been attended with very ferious confe- 

quenges. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 173 

quences. One night it being my turn to 
watch, I removed to the fire-fide, to read 
fome particular paflage, and the candleftick 
which we worked by not being convenient 
to move about, and there being no other at 
that time in the room, I fet up the candle 
againft the handle of a pewter pot, and was 
fo extremely heavy (owing to much watch- 
full^) that I fell faft afleep and had like 
never to have awaked again ; for the candle 
burned down to the handle of the pot, 
melted it off, and then fell on the chair on 
which it flood ; fo that Mr. Jones found me 
in the morning, faft afleep, and part of the 
chair confumed ; which alarmed us all very 
much, and made us more cautious. 

But ftill we continued our plan of living, 
fo that we made a rapid progrefs in what we 
called fpiritual and divine knowledge ; and 
were foon matters of the various arguments 
made ufe of by moft polemical divines, *&c. 

And the better to guard my pupils from 
what I called falfe doflrines, I ufed often to 

engage 



174 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

engage them in various controversies, in which 
I fometimes took one fide of the queflion, 
fometimes the other, in order to make them 
well verfed in controverfy, and acquainted 
with the flrength of their adverfaries. So 
that I was, by turns, a Calvinift, an Armi- 
nian, an Arian, a Socinian, a Deift, and 
even an Atheift. And after they had faid 
all they could to confute me, I would point 
out where they had failed, and added fuch 
arguments as I was mafter of, and in general 
we were all fatisfied. But when we hap- 
pened to have any doubts, we had rccourfe 
to the Bible and commentators of our own 
fide of the queftion, and I afiure you, my dear 
friend, this was a very fine hobby-horfe; 
which, like Aaron's ferpent, fwallowed up all 
the other hobby-horfes. 

" Light minds arepleafed with trifles." 

OVID. 

1 am, dear Friend, 

Your, &c. 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 175 



LETTER XV. 

1 ' Laugh where you muft ; be candid where 700 can." 

POPE. 

" Know then, that always when you come, 

" You'll find me fitting on my bum 5 

" Or lying on a conch, furrounded 

" With tables, pens, and books, confounded ; 

" Wrapt up in lofty fpeculation, 

*' As if on the fafety of the nation." 

HUMS. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

IN the courfe of my reading, 
I learnt that there had been various fefts of 
philofophers amongft the Greeks, Romans, 
&c. and I well remembered the names of the 
mod eminent of them. At an old book-mop 
I purchafed Plato on the Immortality of the 
Soul, Plutarch's Morals, Seneca's Morals, 
Epicurus's Morals, the Morals of Confucius 
the Chinefe Philofopher, and a few others. 
I now can fcarce help thinking that I received 
more real benefit from reading and fludying 

them 



176 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

them and Epi&etus, than from all other books 
that I had read before, or have ever read 
fince that time. 

I was but about twenty-two years of age, 
when I firft began to read thofe fine moral 
productions; and I affure you, my friend, 
that they made a very deep and lafting impref- 
fion on my mind. By reading them, I was 
taught to bear the unavoidable evils attending 
humanity, and to fupply all my wants by 
contracting or reftraining my defires. 

It is now twenty-three years fince I firft 
perufed them ; during which time I do not 
recollect that I have ever felt one anxious 
painful wilh to get money, eflates, or any 
way to better my condition : 

" Indeed, my friend, were I to find 

" That wealth could e'er my real wifhes gain ; 

*' Had e'er difturb'd my thoughtful mind, 
" Or coft one ferious moment's pain; 

" I mould have faid, that all the rules, 

ft I learn'd of moralifts and fchools, 
" Were very ufclefs, very vain. 

And 



LIFE Of J. LACKINGTON. 177 

And yet I have never fince that time let flip 
any fair opportunity of doing it. So that all 
I mean is, that I have not been over felicitous 
to obtain any thing that I did not poflefs ; 
but could at all times fay, with St. Paul, 
that I have learned to be contented in all 
fituations, although at times they have been 
very gloomy indeed. Dryden fays, 

' We to ourfelves may all our wifhes grant, 
'* For, nothing coveting, we nothing want." 

DRY DEN'S Indian Emperor, 

And in another place he fays, 

" They cannot want who wifti not to have more : 
" Whoever faid an anchoret was poor ?" 

DRYDEN'S Secret Love. 

The pleafures of eating and drinking I en- 
tirely defpifed, and for fome time carried this 
difpofition to an extreme. The account of 
Epicurus living in his garden, at the expence 
of about a-halfpenny per day, and that when 
he added a little cheefe to his bread on par- 
ticular occafions, he confidered it as a luxury, 
filled me with raptures. From that moment 
K I began 



i 7 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

I began to live on bread and tea, and for a 
considerable time did not partake of any other 
viands, but in thofe I indulged myfelf three or 
four times a day. My reafons for living in 
this abflernrous manner were-in order to fave 
money to purchafe books, to wean myfelf 
from the grofs pleafures of eating, drink- 
ing,, &e. and to purge my mind, and make 
it more fufeeptible of intellectual pleafures. 
And here I cannot help remarking, that the 
term Epicure when applied to one who makes 
the pleafures of the table his chief good, cafts 
an unjuft reflection on Epicurus, and conveys 
a wrong idea of that contemplative and very 
abflemious philofopher : for although he af- 
ferted that pleafure was the chief or fupreme 
good, yet he alfo as ftrongly aflerted, that it 
was the tranquillity of the mind, and intel- 
lectual pleafure, that he fo extolled and re^ 
commended. 

" Someplace theblifs in aftion, fbmein cafe; 
" Thofe call it pleafure, and contentment thefe : 
" Some, funk to beafts, find pleafure end in pain ? 
" Some, fwell'd to gods, confefs e'en virtue vain/' 



I con- 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 179 

I continued the above felf-denying life un- 
til I left Briftol, which was on Whitfunday 
in 1/69. I had for fome time before been 
pointing out to my friend John Jones fome 
of the pleafures and advantages of travelling, 
fo that I eaiily prevailed on him to accompany 
me towards the Weft of England; and in the 
evening we arrived at Bridgewater, where Mr, 
Jones got work. He was employed by Mr. 
Cam, with whom he continued near twelve 
months, and in the end married Mr. Cam's 
daughter, a very pretty and very amiable little 
woman, with fome fortune. When my friend 
was offered work by Mr. Cam, I prevailed 
on him to accept of it, affuring him that I 
had no doubt of my being able to get work 
at Taunton : but in that I was difappointed, 
nor could I get a conftant feat of work until 
1 came to Exeter, and of that place I was 
ibon tired ; but being informed that a Mr. 
John Taylor of Kingfbridge (forty miles be- 
low Exeter) wanted fuch a hand, I went 
down, and was gladly received by Mr. Taylor, 
whofe name infpires me with gratitude, .as he 
K 2 never 



rfro LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf. 

never treated me as a journeyman, but made' 
me his companion : Nor was any part of my 
time ever fpent in a more agreeable pieafing 
manner than that which I patTed in this re- 
tired place, or I believe more profitable to a 
matter. I was the firft man he ever had that 
was able to make fluff and filk fhoes, and it 
being allb known that I came from Briflol, 
this had great weight with the country ladies, 
and procured my mailer cuflomers, who ge- 
nerally fent for me to take meafure of their 
feet, and I was looked upon by all to be the 
befl workman in the town, altho' I had not 
been brought up to fluff- work, nor had ever 
entirely made one fluff or filk fhoe before. 
Nor fhould I have prefumed to proclaim my- 
felf a fluff-man, had there been any fuch 
workmen in the place ; but as there were 
none,, I boldly ventured, and fucceeded very 
well ; nor did any one in the town ever know 
that it was my firfl attempt in that branch. 

During the time that I lived here, I as 
ufual was obliged to employ one or another 
of my acquaintance to write my letters for 

me; 



LIFE OF -J. LACKINGTON. 181 

me; this procured me much praife among 
the young men as a good inditer of letters ; 
(I need not inform you that they were not 
good judges.) My mailer faid to me one day, 
he wasfurprized that Idid not learn to write 
my own letters ; and added, that he was fure 
that I could learn to do it in a very mort 
time. The thought pleafed me much, and 
without any delay I fet about it, by taking 
np any pieces of paper that had writing on 
them, and imitating the letters as well as I 
could. I employed my ieifure hours in this 
way for near two months, after which time 
I wrote my own letters, in a bad hand, you 
may be fure ; but it was plain and eafy to 
read, which was all I cared for : nor to the 
prefent moment can I write much better, as 
I never would have any perfon to teach me, 
nor was I ever pofferTed of patience enough 
to employ time fufficient to learn to write 
well ; and yet as foon as I was able to fcrib- 
ble, I wrote verfes on fome trifle or other 
every day for years together. 

3 Out 



182 LIFE OF J. LACKIN6TON. 

Out of fome thoufands I at prefent recoi- 
led the following, which I placed by the 
fide of the figure of a clergyman in his robes, 
with his hands and eyes lifted up; this 
image flood over the fire-place in my room. 

Here's a ftioemaker*s chaplain has negative merit, 
As his vice he ne'er flatters or ruffles his fpirit ; 
No wages receiving, his confcience is clear ; 
Not prone to deceiving, he's nothing to fear. 
'Tis true he is filent but that's nothing new ; 
And if you'd repent, his attitude view ; 
With uplifted hands all vice to reprove, 
Hpw folemn he {lands, his eyes fix'd above ! 

Asa .kind of contraft I will infert an epi- 
gram that I wrote but a few days fmce on an 
ignorant methodifl preacher. 

A ftupid fellow told me t'other day, 
That by the fpirit he could preach and pray j 
Let none then fay that miracles have ceas'd, 
As God ftill opes the mouth of beaft; 
And affes now can fpeak as plain 
As e'r they could in Balaam's reign, 

But I always wrote as fafl as I could, 
without endeavouring to write well, and that 

this 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 183 

this is my jprefent practice I need not Inform 
you. 

I came to this place in but a weak flate of 
body, however the healthy fituation of the 
town, together with bathing in the fait water, 
foon reftored me to perfect heaich. I pafled 
thirteen months here in a very happy man- 
ner ; but the wages for work being very 
low, and as I had fpent much time in writing 
hymns to every fong-tune that I knew, be- 
fides a number of love-verfes, letters, &c. I 
was very poor ; and to complete all, I begaa 
to keep a deal of company, in which I gave 
a loofe to my natural gaiety of dilpofition, 
much more than was confident with the 
grave, fedate ideas which 1 had formed of a 
religious characler ; all which made me re- 
iblve to leave Kingibridge, which 1 did in 
1770. 

1 travelled as far as Exeter the firfr. day, 

where I worked about a fortnight, and faved 

iufficient to carry me to Bridgewater, where 

1 worked two or three weeks more. Before 

K 4 I ar- 



184 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 
I arrived there Mr. John Jones had gone 
back to refide at Briftol, but as.fbon as he 
heard of my being in Bridgewater, he and 
his brother Richard fent me an invitation to 
come to Briftol again and live with them. 
Finding that I did not immediately com- 
ply, they both came to Bridgewater, and 
declared their intentions of not returning to 
Briftol without me j fo that after a day or 
two I yielded to their felicitations, and again 
lived very comfortably with them, their mo 
ther and fitter, 

Ithink it was about this period, that I went 
feveral times to the Tabernacle, and heard 
Mr. George Whitefield ; and of all the 
preachers that ever I attended, never did I 
meet with one that had fuch a perfect com- 
mand over the paffions of his audience. In 
every iermon that I heard him preach, he 
would fometimes make them ready to burft 
with laughter, and the next moment drown 
them in tears ; indeed it was fcarce poilible 
fpr the moft guarded to efcape the effect. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 185 

" He had foir.ething t'was thought ftill more horrid to fay, 

" When his tongue loll its powers and he fainted away ; 

' Some fay 'twas his confcience that gave him a ftroke, 

" But thofe who beft knew him treat that as a joke ; 

' 'Tis a trick which ftage orators ufe in their need, 

'* The paffions to raife and the judgment miflead." 

SlMKIN, 

In one of my excurfions I paflfed many 
agreeable hours with the late Mr. La Bute, 
<at Cambridge, who was well known, he 
having taught French in that univerfity 
upwards of forty years. He informed me 
that near forty years fince, Mr. Whitefield 
having advertifed himfelf to preach at Gog- 
Magog hill, many thoufand people collected 
together from many miles round. While he 
was preaching he was elevated on the higheft 
ground, and his audience ftood all round on 
the declivity ; during his fermon, a young 
countrywoman, who had come fome miles 
to hear him, and waited feveral hours, being 
very faint, owing to the violent heat of the 
fun, the breaths of the multitude, as well as 
the want of refremment ; and it is very 
likely much agitated in her mind by the 

extraordinary 



i86 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

extraordinary doctrines of the preacher, flic 
fell backwards, juft under the orator, and 
there lay kicking up her heels. On feeing 
the poor girl lie in a kind of convulfion, 
fome of the company moved to afliil her, 
and the women began to draw down her 
apron and petticoats over her feet ; but Mr. 
Whitefield cried out, " Let her alone ! let her 
alone ! A glorious fight ! a glorious Jight I" 
No doubt the holy man meant that it was a 
glorious fight to fee a finner fall before the 
power of the word ; but the young college 
bucks and wits conftrued his meaning diffe- 
rently, and put the audience into fuch im- 
moderate fits of laughing, that even Mr. 
Whiteneld's utmoft efforts were not able 
to reftore their gravity, but he was obliged 
to difmifs his congregation abruptly. 

For a long time after this happened, the 
Cantabs as they reeled homewards in the 
night-time, difturbed the fober inhabitants, 
by loudly exclaiming, " A glorious fight ! 
A glorious fight ! as Doctor Squintum fays." 

I am, dear Friend, yours. 



tIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 187 



LETTER XVI, 

' ' Love, the moft generous paflion of the mind, 

' The fofteft refuge innocence can find ; 

" The fafe director of unguided youth, 

" Fraught with kind wifties, and fecur'd by truth { 

" The cordial drop heav'n in our cup has thrown, 

" To make the naufeous draught of life go down ; 

" On which one only bleffing God might raife, 

" In lands of atheifts fubfidies ofpraife; 

*' For none did e'er fo dull and ftupid prove, 

ff But felt a God, and blefs'd his pow'r, in love." 

Nonpareil. < 

DEAR FRIEND, 

A Muft now rcquefl you to 
go back with me a few years, as I have not 
yet made you acquainted with my principal 
amours. I was about feventeeu years of age 
when an adventure difcovered, that although 
I was fo very fpi ritual, as I before informed 
you, I was notwithstanding fqfceptible of 
another kind of impreflion. 



3 S8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Oh, let me ftill enjoy the cheerful day, 

' Till many years unheeded o'er me roll. 
" Pleas'd in my age I trifle life away, 

' And tell how much I lov'd ere I grew old." 

HAMMOND'S Love Elegies. 

Being at farmer Gamlin's, at Charlton, 
four miles from Taunton, to hear a metho- 
dift fermon, I fell defperately in love with 
the farmer's handfome dairy- maid. 

* Her home-fpun drefs in fimple neatnefs lies, 

*' And for no glaring equipage me fighs. 

*' She gratefully receives what heav'n has fent, 

" And, rich in poverty, enjoys content. 

* Her reputation which is all her boaft, 

' In a malicious vifit ne'er was loft. 

" No midnight mafquerade her beauty wears, 

' ' And health, not paint, the fading bloom repairs. 

** If Love's foft paflions in her bofom reign, 

** An equal paffion warms her happy fwain." 

GAT. 

At that time I abounded in fpiritual gifts* 
which induced this honeft ruflic maid to be 
very kind to me, and to walk feveral fields 
with me in my road back to Taunton, talk- 
ing all the way of her fpiritual diftrefs and 
godly concerns; while I poured heavenly 

comfort 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 1*9 

comfort into her foul, and talked fo long of 
divine Love, until I found that my affe&ion 
for her was not altogether of that fpiritual 
nature. And yet, 

We lov'd without tranfgrefllng Virtue's bounds : 
'* We fix'd the limits of our tendereft thoughts, 
" Came to the verge of honour, and there ftopp'd ; 
" We warm'd us by the fire, but were not fcorch'd. 
" If this be fin, Angels might live with more; 
" And mingle rays of minds lefs pure than ours." 

DRTDBM'S Love Triumphant, 

After this you may be fure that I did not 
let flip any opportunity of hearing fermons at 
farmer Gamlin's ; and I generally prevailed 
with Nancy Smith, my charming fpiritual 
dairy-maid, to accompany me part of the way 
home, and at every gate I accompanied my 
fpiritual advice with a kifs- 

Oh then the longeft fummer's day 

* Seem'd^oo too much in hafte ; ftill the full heart 

" Had not imparted half: 'twas happinefs 

" Too exquifite to laft. Of joys departed 

** Never to. return, ho\v painful the remembrance ! 

BLAIR'S Grave. 

But 



1 9 o LIFE OF J. LACKtNGTOlSf, 

But alas ! thefe comfortable Sunday walks 
were foon at an end; as my charming Nancy 
Smith, for fome reafon or other (I have for- 
got what) left her place, and went to live as 
dairy-maid with a farmer in the marfli coun- 
try, between Bridge water and Briftol, feven- 
teen miles from Taunton ; fo that I did 
not fee her for near two years afterwards ; du- 
ring which time I gave fpiritual advice to 
another holy fitter, whofe name was Hannah 
Allen. 

I prevailed on this lovely maid to attend 
the methodifl preaching at five o'clock on 
Monday mornings, and we often met at three 
or four ; fo that we had an hour or two to 
Ipend in walking and converfation on fpiri- 
tual affairs. Had you feen and heard us on the 
cold frofty mornings, it would have put you 
in mind of Milton's Devils, whom he repre- 
ients as at times flarving with cold : 

" Others apart, fat on a hill, retir'd, 

" In thoughts more elevate, and reafon'd high 

" Of Provicence, foreknowledge, will, and fate ; 

Fix'd 



* 

LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 191 

Fix'd fate, free-will, foreknowledge abfolute; 
" And found no end, in wandering mazes loft." 

Paradife Loft. 

But I aflureyou, my friend, that we were 
fometimes like the Galatians of old; we be- 
gan in thejpirit, and ended in \hejkjh. 

With this dear girl I fpent all my leifure 
time, for two or three years ; fo that we en- 
joyed together hundreds of happy, and I cau 
truly add, Innocent hours. 

" Odaysofblifs! 

" To equal this 
* Olympus drives in vain ; 

" O happy pair, 

O happy fair ! 
" O happy, happy fwaln !" 

JOANNES SECVNDVS. 

But {{.ill I never could entirely forget mv 
charming innocent Dairy-maid. In fact I 
had love enough for both, to have taken 
either for better for worfe; but my being 
an apprentice, prevented me from marrying 
at that time. 



It 



t$i LIFE OF j. LACKING-TON 

It is true I had the greateft love for Nancy 
Smith ; but Hannah Allen had the advan- 
tage of Nancy, as I could fee Hannah almofl 
every day, and Nancy only once or twice in 
about three years. However I at laft fell out 
with Hannah (on what occafion I cannot re- 
collect) and I fent Nancy a letter, which made 
up matters with her ; for, like Sterne, I was 
P' always in love with one goddefs or other ;" 
and foon after that, fhe came to live for a 
little time at her father's houfe at Petherton 
nearBridgewater, feven miles from Taunton. 
'This happened during the election at Taun- 
ton, when I was changed from a ftrict me- 
thodiit to a rake ; and although the wedding 
ring was purchafed, and we were to have 
been married in a few days, yet the marriage 
was put off on account of my diffipated cha- 
rater, t fo that I foon after let off for Briflol, 
as I before informed you : nor did I fee her 
after that, until my return from Kingfbridge, 
when I faw her feveral times prior to my 
fetting off for Briftol with my friend John 
Jones, and his brother Richard. 

I am, dear Friend, yours, &c. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 193 

' 
LETTER XVII. 

*' The man who by his labour gets 

" His bread in independent ftate, 
*' Who never begs, and feldom eats, 

" Himfelf can fix, or change his fate.'* 

PS.IOR. 

w If you will ufe the little that you have, 
* c More has not heav'n to give, or you to crave : 
'** Ceafe to complain. He never can be poor 
** Who has fufficient, and who wants no more. 
*' If but from cold, and pining hunger free, 
** The richeft monarch can but equal thee. 

HORACE Imitated. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

X Had not long refided a fe- 
cond time with my good Briftol friends, be- 
fore I renewed my correfpondence with my 
old fweetheart Nancy Smith. I informed 
her that my attachment to Books, together 
with travelling from place to place, and alfo 
my total difregard for money, had prevented 
me from faving any j and that while I re- 
mained in afmgle unfettled flateyl was never 
L -Hkely 



i 9 4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

likely to accumulate it. I alfo prefled her 
very much to come to Briftol to be married, 
which me foon complied with : and married 
we were, at St. Peter's Church, towards the 
end of the year 1770; near feven years after 
my firft making love to her. 

' When join'd in hand and heart, to church we went, 

" Mutual in vows, and pris'ners by confent. 

" My Nancy's heart beat high, with mix'd alarms, 

" But trembling beauty glow'd with double charms. 

* In her foft breaft a modeft ftruggle rofe, 

" How Ihe ihould feem to like the lot fhe chofe : 

" A fmile, flie thought would drefs her looks too gay : 

" A frown might feem too fad, and blaft the day. 

" But while nor this, nor that, her will could bow, 

" Shewalk'd, and look'd, and charm'd, and knew not how, 

* Our hands at length th' unchanging Fiat bound, 

" And our glad Souls fprung out to meet the found. 

" Joys meeting Joys unite, and ftronger ftrine : 

" For paffion purified is half divine : 

" Now NANCY thou art mine, I cry'd and ftie 

" Sigh'd foft now JEMMY thou art LORD of me!" 

A. HILL, 

We kept our Wedding at the houfe of my 
friends the Meflrs. Jones's, and at bed-time 
retired to ready-furni(hed lodgings, which 
we had before provided, at half-a-crown per 

week 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. - 195 

week. Our finances were but juft fufficient 
to pay the expences of the day, for the next 
morning in fearching our pockets (which we 
did not do in a carelefs manner) we difcovered 
that we had but one halfpenny to begin the 
world with. It is true we had laid in eatables 
fufficient for a day or two, in which time 
we knew we could by our work procure 
more, which we very cheerfully fet about, 
finging together the following {trains of Dr, 
Cotton : 

" Our portion is not large indeed, 
" But then how little do we need? 

" For Nature's calls are few ; 
w " In this the art of living lies, 
" To want no more than may fuffice, 
" And make that little do." 

The above, and the following ode by Mr. 
Fitzgerald, did we fcores of times repeat, 
even with raptures ! 

c No glory I covet, no riches I want, 

" Ambition is nothing to me : 
" The one thing I beg of kind heaven to grant 

' Is, a mind independent and free. 

L z "By 



i$6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

te By paffion unruffled, untainted by pride, 

By Reafon my life let me fquare j 
" The wants of my nature are cheaply fupplied, 

" And the reft are but folly and care. 

*' Thofe bleffings which providence kindly has lent, 

" I'll juftly and gratefully prize ; 
While fweet meditation and cheerful content, 

" Shall make me both healthy and wife. 

* In the pleafures the great man's poflfeffions difplay, 

" Unenvy'd I'll challenge my part j 
" For every fair objeft my eyes can furvey, 

" Contributes to gladden my heart. 

" How vainly through infinite trouble and ftrife> 

" The many their labours employ; . 
" When all that is truly delightful in life, 

" Is what all, if they will, may enjoy." 

After having worked on fluff- work in the 
country, I could not bear the idea of return- 
ing^to the leather branch ; fo that 1 attempted 
and obtained a feat of Stuff in Briftol. But 
better work being required there than in, 
King{bridge, &c. I was obliged to take fo 
much care to pleafe rny mafter, that at firft 
I could not get more than nine millings a 
week, and my wife could get but very little^ 

as 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 197 

as flie was learning to bind ftufF-moes, and 
had never been much ufed to her needle ; fo 
that what with the expence of ready-furniflied 
lodging, fire, candles, &c. we had but little 
left for purchafmg provifions. 

To increafe our ftraits, my old friend being 
fbmewhat difpleafed at our leaving him and 
his relations, took an early opportunity to tell 
me that I was indebted to him near forty 
(hillings, of two years {landing. I was not 
convinced of the juftice of the claim, but to 
avoid difpute, I paid him in about two 
months, during nearly the whole of which 
time it was extremely ievere weather, and 
yet we made four millings and fixpence per 
week pay for the whole of what we con- 
fumed in eating and drinking. Strong beer 
we had none, nor any other liquor (the pure 
element excepted) and inftead of tea, or ra- 
ther coffee, we toafted a piece of bread ; at 
other times we fried fome wheat, which 
when boiled in water made a tolerable fub- 
flitute for coffee ; and as to animal food, we 
L 3 made 



I 9 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

made ufe of but little, and that little we 

boiled and made broth or. 

During the whole of this time we never 
once wiflied for any thing that we had not.got, 
but were quite contented, and with a good 
grace, in reality made a virtue of neceffity. 
We 

" Trembled not with vain defines, 
" Few the things which life requires." 

FRANCIS'S Horace. 

And the fubjel of our prayer was 

" This day be bread and peace our lot, 

" All elfe beneath the fun, 
Thou know'ft if beft beftow'd or not, 

" And let thy will be clone. 



I am, dear Friend, 

Your, &c. 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 109 



LETTER XVIII. 

ct This fame Monfieur Poverty is a bitter enemy." 

JOHN DORY. 

" In adverfe hours an equal mind maintain.'* 

FRANCIS'S Horace* 

DEAR FRIEND, 

J.N a few days after we had 
paid thelaft five {hillings of the debt claimed 
by my friend Mr. Jones, we were both to- 
gether taken fo ill as to be confined to our 
bed, but the good woman of the houfe, our 
landlady, came to our room and did a few 
trifles for us. She teemed very much alarmed 
at our fituation, or rather for her own, I 
fuppofe, as thinking we might in fome mea- 
fure become burthenfome to her. We had 
in cafh two (hillings and nine-pence, halt 
crown of Which we had carefully locked u] 
in a box, to be laved for a relburce on any 
extraordinary emergence. This money fup- 
L- 4 ported 



200 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ported us two or three days, in which time 
I recovered without the help of medicine ; 
but my wife continued ill near fix months, 
and was confined to her bed the greateft part 
of the time ; which illnefs may very eafily be 
accounted for. 

Before fhe came to Briflol, me had ever 
been ufed to a very active life, and had al- 
ways lived in the country, fo that in coming 
to dwell in a populous city, fhe had exr 
Changed much exercife and good air for a 
iedentary life and very bad air ; and this I 
prefume was the caufe of all her illnefs from 
time to time, which at length, as unfor-? 
tunately as effectually, undermined her con^ 
ilitution. Daring her firft fix months illnefs, 
1 lived many days folely on water-gruel 5 
for as 1 could not afford to pay a nurfe, 
much of my time was taken up in attendance 
on her, and moft of my money expendec} 
in procuring medicines, together with fuch 
trifles as me could eat and drink. But what 
added extremely to my calamity was the 

being 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 9 oi 

being within the hearing of her groans, 
which were caufed by the excruciating pains 
in her head, which for months together de- 
fied the power of medicine, 

It is impoflible for words to defcribe the 
Jieennefs of my fenfations during this long 
term ; yet as to myfelf, my poverty and being 
obliged to live upon water-gruel gave me not 
jhe leaft uneafiuefs, 

" In ruffling feafons I was calm, 

" nd frail'd when fortune frown'd." 

YOUNG. 

But the neceffity of being continually in the 
fight and hearing of a beloved object, a 
young, charming, handfome, innocent wife, 

' Who n*ck in bed lay gafping for her breath j 

* Her eyes, like dying lamps funk in their fockets, 

' Now glar'd, and now drew back their feeble light ; 
' Faintly her fpeech fell from her fault'ring tongue 
' In interrupted accents, as (he drove 
' With ftrong agonies that fhook her limbs 

* And writh'd her tortur'd features into forms 
f Hideous to fight." 

BE IYER'S Injur'd Innocence, 

How 



200 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOfr. 

How I fupported this long dreary fcene, I 
know not ; the bare recollection of which is 
exceedingly painful, even at this diftance of 
time. At laft, when every thing that feemed 
to promife relief had been tried in vain, fome 
old woman recommended Cephalic fnuff. I 
own I had not much faith in it; however I 
procured it, and in a fhort time after me was 
much relieved from the intolerable pain in 
her head, but yet continued in a very bad 
flate of health ; her constitution having fuf- 
fered fuch a dreadful mock, I thought that 
no means could be ufed fo likely to reftore it, 
as a removal to her native air. Accordingly 
I left my feat of work at Briftol, and re- 
turned with her to Taunton, which is about 
feven miles from Petherton, her native place. 
But in Taunton 1 could not procure fo much 
work as I could do ; fo that as foon as I 
thought (he could bear the air of Briftol, we 
returned thither, where me foon relapfed, and 
we again went back to Taunton. This remov- 
ing to Taunton was repeated about five times 
in little more than two years and a half. 

But 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 203 

But at laft, finding that (he had long fits of 
illneis at Taunton alfo, as well as at Briftol, 
with a view of having a better price for my 
work I refolved to vifit London ; and as I had 
not money fufficient to bear the expences of 
both to town, I left her all the money I could 
fpare, and took a place on the outride of the 
flage coach, and the fecond day arrived in 
the metropolis, in Auguft 1773, with two 
ihillings and fixpence in my pocket ; and re- 
colleding the addrefs of an old townfman, 
who was alfo a fpiritiial brother. 

" Whofe hair in greafy locks hung down, 

" As ftrait as candles from his crown, 

" To (hade the borders of his face, 

*' Wnofo outward figns of inward grace 

" Were only vifible in fpiteful 

" Grimaces, very ftern and frightful." 

BUTLER'S Pofth. Works. 

This holy brother was alfo a journeyman 
{hoe-maker, who had arrived at the fummit 
of his expectations, being able to keep a 
houie over his head (as he chofe to exprefs 
himfelf) that is by letting nearly the whole 

of 



204 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

of it out in lodgings, he was enabled to pay 
the rent. This houfe was in White-crofs- 
ilreet, which I found out the morning after 
my arrival, where I procured a lodging, and 
Mr. Heath, in Fore-ftreet, fupplied me with 
plenty of work. 

I laugn'd then and whiftl'd, and fang too moft fweet, 
Saying, juft to a hair I've made both ends to meet. 
Deny-down. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. e 



LETTER XIX. 

" I'll travel no more I'll try a London audience. 
" Who knows but I may get an engagement." 

Wild Oats. 

" When fuperftition (bane of manly virtues !) 
" Strikes root within the foul ; it over-runs 
" And kills the power of Reafon." 

PHILIPS of, Gloucefter. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

jL\.T this time I was as vifion- 
ary and fuperflitious as ever I had been at 
any preceding period, for although, I had read 
fome fenflble books, and had thereby ac- 
quired a few rational ideas, yet having had a 
methodiftical wife for near three years, and 
my keeping methodiftical company, together 
with the gloomy notions which in fpite of 
reafon and philofophy I had imbibed during 
the frequent, long, and indeed almoft con- 
flant illnefs of my wife, the confequence 
was, that thofe few rational or liberal ideas 

which 



3*6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

which I had before treafured up, were at 
my coming to London in a dormant Hate, or 
borne down by the torrent of enthufiaftic 
whims, and fanatical chimeras. 

*- Oh ! what a reafonlcfs machine 

" Can fuperftition make the reas'ner man !" 

MILLER'S Mahomet. 

So that as foon as I procured a lodging and 
work, my next enquiry was for Mr. Wefley's 
Gofpel-Jhops : and on producing my clafs and 
band tickets from Taunton, I was put into a 
clafs, and a week or two after admitted into 
a band. 

But it was feveral weeks before I could 
firmly refolve] to continue in London ; as I 
really was flruck with horror for the fate of 
it; more particularly on Sundays, as I found 
fo few went to church, and fo many were 
walking and riding about for pleafure, and 
the lower clafs getting drunk, quarrelling, 
fighting, working, buying, felling, &c. I 
had feen fo much of the fame kind in Briftol, 
that I often wondered how God permitted it 

to 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 307 

to (land ; but London I found infinitely 
worfe, and ferioufly trembled for fear the 
meafure of iniquity was quite full, and that 
every hour would be its laft. However I at 
length concluded, that if London was a 
fecond Sodom, I was a fecond Lot ; and thefe 
comfortable ideas reconciled me to the 
thought of living in it. Befides, fome of 
Mr. Wefley's people gave me great comfort 
by affuring me, that " the Lord had much 
people in this city :" which I foon difcovered 
to be true, as I got acquainted with many 
of thofe righteous chofen faints, who modeftly 
arrogate to themfelves that they are the pecu- 
liar favourites of heaven, and confequently 
that any place they refide in muil be fafe. 

In a month I faved money fufficient to 
bring up my wife, and flie had a pretty tole- 
rable {tare of health ; of my m after I 
obtained fome fhifF-moes for her to bind, and 
nearly as much as me could do. Having now 
plenty of work and higher wages, we were 
tolerably eafy in our circumftances, more fb 

than 



*o* LIFE OF J. LACKtNGTOtf. 

than xve ever had been, fo that we foon pro* 
cured a few cloaths. My wife had all her 
life before done very well with a fuperfme 
broad cloth cloak, but now I prevailed on 
her to have one of filk. 

Until this winter I had never found out 
that I wanted a great coat, but now I made 
that important difcovery ; and my landlord 
fhewed me one made of a coarfe kind of Bath- 
coating, which he purchafed new at a fhop 
in Rofemary-lane, for ten {hillings and fix- 
pence ; fo that the next half guinea I had to 
ijpare, away I went to Rofemary-lane (and 
to my great furprife) was hauled into a fhop 
by a fellow who was walking up and down 
before the door of a flopfeller, where I was 
foon fitted with a great coat of the fame fort 
as that of my landlord. I afked the price ; 
but how great was my aftonifhment, when 
the honeft flopman told me, that he was fb 
taken with my clean, honeft, induftrious looks_ 
that he would let me have it cheaper than he 
would his own brother, fo in one word he 

would 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTQN. 209 

would oblige me with it for five and twenty 
(hillings, which was the very money that it 
coft him. On hearing this, I crofled the 
(hop in a trice, in order to fet off home again, 
but the door had a fattening to it beyond my 
comprehenfion, nor would the good man let 
me out befoue I had made him an offer. I 
told him, I had fo little money about me that 
I could not offer any thing, and again defired 
that he would let me out. But he perfifted, 
and at laft I told him that my landlord had in- 
formed me that he had purchafed fuch ano- 
ther coat for ten millings and fixpence ; on 
which he began to give himfelf airs, and 
allured me that however fome people came 
by their goods, that for his part, he always 
paid for his. I heartily wifhgd myfelf out 
of the mop, but in vain ; as he feemed deter- 
mined not to part with me until I had made 
fome offer. I then told him that I had but 
ten millings and fixpence, and of courfe could 
not offer him any more than I had got. I 
now expected more abufe from him, but in- 
ftead of that the patient good man told me, 
M that 



2io LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that as he perhaps might get fomething by 
me another time, I fhould have the coat for 
my half guinea, although it was worth more 
than double the money. 

About the end of November I received an 
account of the death of my grandfather ; and 
was alfo- informed that he had left a will in 
favour of mygrandmother-in-law's relations, 
who became pofferTed of all his effects, except 
a fmall freehold eftate, which he left to my 
youngeft brother, becaufe he happened to be 
called George (which was the name of my 
grandfather) and ten pounds a piece to each 
of his other grand-children. 

So totally unacquainted was 1 with the 
modes of tranfa&ing bufmefs, that I could 
not point out any method of having my ten 
pounds fent up to London, at leaft no mode 
that the executor of the will would approve 
of; it being fuch a prodigious fum, that the 
greateft caution was ufed on both fides, fo 
that itcoft me about half the money in going 
down for it, and in returning to town again. 

This 



LIFE OF j. LACKINGTON. 211 

This was in extremely hard fro fly weather (I 
think fome time iti December) and being on 
the outfide of a ftage-coach, I was fo very 
cold, that when I came to the inn where the 
paflengers dined, I went directly to the fire, 
which ftruck the cold inward, fo that I had 
but a very narrow efcape from death. This 
happened in going down. In returning back 
to town, I had other misfortunes to encoun- 
ter. The cold weather ftill continuing, I 
thought the bafket warmer than the roof, and 
about fix miles from Salifbury, I went back 
into the bafket. But on getting out of it, hi 
the inn yard at Salifbury, I heard fome 
money jingle, and on fearching my pockets, 
I difcovered that 1 had loft about fixteen (hil- 
lings, two or three of which I found in the 
bafket, the reft had fallen through on the 
road ; and no doubt the whole of what I had 
left of my ten pounds would have gone the 
fame way, had I not (for fear of highway- 
men) fewed it up in my cloaths. The lofs 
of my filver I bore with the temper of a ftoic, 
and like Epictetus reafoned, that I could not 
M 2 have 



212 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 

have loft it, if I had not firft had it ; and that 
as I had loft it, why it was all the fame as 
though it had never been in my poffeflioiu 

But a more dreadful misfortune bcfel me^ 
the next morning; the extreme fevere wea- 
ther ftill continuing, in order to keep me 
from dying with cold, I drank fome purl 
and gin, which (not being ufed to drink any 
thing ftrong) made me fo drunk, that the 
coachman put me infide the carriage for fear 
I mould fall off the roof. I there met with 
fome of the jovial fort, who had alfo drank 
to keep out the cold, fo that I found them 
in high glee ; being afked to fing them a fong, 
J immediately complied, and forgetting that 
I was one of the holy brethren, I fung foug 
for long with the merriefLof them ; only fe- 
veral times between the afts, I turned up the 
whites of my eyes, and uttered a few ejacu- 
lations, as " Lord forgive me !" " O Chrift I 
What am I doing ?" and a few more of the 
fame pious fort. However after eating a good 
dinner, and refraining from liquor,. I became 

nearly 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 213 

nearly fober, and by the time I arrived in 
town quite fo; though in a terrible agitation 
of mind, by reflecting on what I had ten 
and was fo afhamed of the affair, that I con- 
cealed it from my wife, that I might not 
grieve her righteous loul with the knowledge 
of fo dreadful a fall: fo that ftie with great 
pleafure ripped open the places in my clothes, 
which contained my treafure, and with an 
heart full of gratitude, pioufly thanked pro- 
vidence for affording us fuch a fupply, and 
hoped that the Lord would enable us to make 
a good ufe of it. 



I am. 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, &c. 

M 3 LETTER 



2i4 LIFE OF J. LACKING-TON^ 



LETTER XX. 

*' Now fince thro* all the race of man we find, "| 
Each to fome darling paffion is inclin'd, > 

** Let BOOKS be ftill the b,ias of my mind." J 

Anonym, 

* Fixt in an elbow chair at cafe, 
" I chopfe companions as I pleafe." 

SWIFT. 

PEAR FRIEND, 

VV ITH the remainder of the 
money we purchafed houfhold goods, but as 
we then had not fufficient to furnifh a room^ 
we worked hard, and lived ftill harder, fo that- 
in a ihort time we had a room furniflied witr^ 
pur own goods; and I believe that it is not 
pofiible for you to imagine with what plea-r 
fure and fatisfa&ion we looked round (he roorr^ 
and furveyed our property : 1 believe that 
Alexander the Great never reflected on his, 
immenfe acquifitions with half the heart-felt- 
enjoyment which we experienced on this a 
pital attainment. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 215 

After our room was furnifhed, as we {till 
enjoyed a better ftate of health than we did 
at Briflol and Taunton, and 'had alfo more 
work and higher wages, we often added fome- 
thing or other to our flock of wearing apparel. 
Nor did I forget the old-book fhops : but 
frequently added an old book to my fmall 
collection, and I really have often purchafed 
books with the money that fhould have been 
expended in purchafmg fomething to eat ; a 
(inking inftance of which follows : 

At the time we were purchafmg houmold 
goods, we kept ourfelves very mort of money, 
and on Chriftmas-eve we had but half-a- 
crown left to buy a Chriftrr-as dinner. My 
wife defired that I would go to market, and 
purchafe this feilival dinner, and off I fet for 
that purpofe; but in the way I favv an old- 
book mop, and I could not refill the temp- 
tation of going in ; intending only to expend 
fixpence or ninepence out of my half-crown. 
.But I ftumbled upon Young's Night 
Thoughts down went my half-crown and 
M 4 I battened 



216 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

I haftened home, vaftly delighted with the 
acquifition. When my wife afked me where 
was our Chriftmas dinner ? 1 told her it was 
in my pocket. " In your pocket (laid (he) 
that is a flrange place. How could you 
think of fluffing a joint of meat into your 
pocket ?" I allured her that it would take no 
harm. But as J was in no hafte to take it 
out, (he began to be more particular, and en- 
quired what I had got, &c. On which I 
began to harangue on the fuperiority of intel- 
lectual pleafures over fenfual gratifications, 
and obferved that the brute creation enjoyed 
the latter in a much higher degree than man. 
And that a man, that was not poflefied of 
intellectual enjoyments, was but a two-* 
legged brute. 

f 

I was proceeding in this flrain : " And fo, 
(laid (he) inftead of buying a dinner, I fup- 
pofe you have, as you have done before, been 
buying books with the money ?" I then con- 
fefied 1 had bought Young's Night Thoughts: 
" And I think (laid I) that I have aded 

wifely ; 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 217 

wifely ; for had I bought a dinner, we mould 
have eaten it to-morrow, and the pleafure 
would have heen foon over, but mould we 
live fifty years longer, we fhall have the 
Night Thoughts to feaft upon." This was 
too powerful an argument to admit of any 
farther debate j in mort, my wife was con- 
vinced. Down I fat, and began to read with as 
much enthufiafm as the good doctor poffeffed 
when he wrote it ; and fo much did it excite 
my attention as well as approbation, that I 
retained the greateft part of it in my me- 
mory. A couplet of Perfius, as Englifhed, 
might have been applied to me : 

" For this you gain thofe meager looks, 



" And facrifice your dinner to your books." 

Sometime in June 1 774, as we fat at 
work in our room, Mr. Boyd, one of Mr. 
Wefley's people, called and informed me 
that a little mop and parlour were to be 
let in Featherftone-ftreet ; adding, that if I 
was to take it, 1 might there get fome work 
as a matter. I without hefitaticn told him 

that 



2 iS LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that I liked the idea, and hinted that I would 
fell books alfo. Mr. Boyd then aiked me 
how I came to think of felling books ? I 
informed him that until that moment it 
had never once entered into my thoughts ; 
but that when he propofed my taking the 
(hop, it inftantaneoufly occurred to my mind, 
that for feveral months paft I had obferved 
a great increafe in a certain old- book mop ; 
and that I was perfuaded I knew as much of 
old books as the perfon who kept it. I far- 
ther obferved, that I loved books, and that 
if I could but be a bookfeller, I mould then 
have plenty of books to read, which was the 
greateft motive J could conceive to induce 
me to make the attempt. My friend on this 
aflured me, that he would get the mop for 
me, and with a laugh added, " whenpw 
are Lord Mayor, you mall ufe all your inte- 
reft to get me made an Alderman." Which 
J engaged not to forget to perform. 

My private library at this time confined of 
Fletcher's Checks to Antinomianifm, &c. 

5 volumes; 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 2 , 9 

5 volumes ; Watts's Improvement of the 
Mind ; Young's Night Thoughts ; Wake's 
Translation of the Apoilolical Epiftles ; 
Fleetwood's Life of Cbrift ; the firfr. twenty 
Cumbers of Hinton's Dictionary of the Arts 
gn4 Sciences; fome of Wefley's Journals, 
and fome of the pious lives publifhed by 
him ; and about a dozen other volumes of 
the latter fort, befides odd magazines, &c. 
And to fet me up in ftile, Mr. Boyd recom- 
mended me to the friends of an holy brother 
lately gone to heaven, and of them I pur- 
chafed a bagful of old books, chiefly divinity, 
for a guinea. 

With this flock, and fome odd fcraps of 
leather, which together with all my books 
were worth about live pounds, I opened 
ihop on Midfummer-day, 1774, in Feathe- 
flone-flreet, in the parifh of St. Luke ; and 
I was as well pleafed in furveying my little 
(hop with my name over it, as was Nebu* 
chaduezzar, when he faid " Is not this great 
Babylon thaS J have byijt ?" and my good 

wife 



220 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

wife often perceiving the pleafure that I took 
in my fhop, pioufly cautioned me againft 
fetting my mind on the riches of this world, 
and affured me that it was all but vanity. 
** You are very right, my dear (I fome- 
times replied) and to keep our minds as 
fpiritual as we can, we will always attend 
our clafs and band meetings, hear as many 
fermons, &c. at the Foundery on week 
days as poflible, and on fabbath days we 
will mind nothing but the good of our fouls : 
our fmall beer mall be fetched in on Satur- 
day nights, nor will we drefs even a potatoe 
on the fabbath. We will frill attend the 
preaching at five o'clock in the morning ; at 
eight go to the prayer meeting ; at ten to 
the public worfhip at the Foundery; hear 
Mr. Perry at Cripplegate, at two ; be at the 
preaching at the Foundery at five ; meet 
with the general fociery at fix; meet in the 
united bands at feven, and again be at the 
prayer meeting at eight ; and then come 
home and read and pray by ourfelves." 

I am, dear Friend, yours, &c. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf. *2i 



LETTER XXI. 

" Strange viciflitudes of human fate ! 

** Still alt'ring, nevr in a fteady ftate ; 

" Good after ill, and after pain delight ; 

" Alternate, like the fcenes of daj and night. 

" Since every one who lives, is born to die, 

" And none can boaft intire felicity : 

" With equal mind what happens let us bear, 

" Nor joy, nor grieve too much for things beyond our care. 

" Like pilgrims, to the appointed place we tend : 

'* The world's an Inn, and death's the journey's end. 

DRY DEN'S Palemon and Arcite, 

BEAR FRIEND, 

JN Otwithftanding the ob- 
fcurity of the ftreet, and the mean appear- 
ance of my (hop, yet I foon found cuftomers 
for what few books I had, and I as foon laid 
out the money in other old trafh which was 
daily brought for fale. 

At that time Mr. Wefley's people had a 
funi of money which was kept on purpofe to 
lend out, for three months, without intereft 

to 



ftft2 LIFE 6F J. LACKINGTOK. 

to fuch of their fodety whofe characters wefe 
good, and who wanted a temporary relief. 
To increafe my little flock, I borrowed five 
pounds out of this fund, which was of great 
fervice to me. 

In our new fituation we lived in a very 
frugal manner, often dining on potatoes, and 
quenching our thirft with water, being abfo- 
lutely determined if poflible to make fome 
provifion for fuch difmal times as fkknefs, 
fhortnefs of work, &c. which we had been 
fo frequently involved in before, and could 
fcarce help expecting to be our fate again. 
My wife foreboded it much more than I 
did, being of a more melancholy turn of 
mind. 

A fad prophetic Spirit dwells with woe." 

I lived in this ftreet fix months, and in 
that time increafed my flock from five 
pounds, to twenty-five pounds. 

" London-* 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 2 1$ 

" London the public there are candid and generous, 

and before my merit can have time to create me enemies, 111 
fave money, and a fig for the Sultan and Sophy." 

ROVER. 

This immenfe flock I deemed too valu- 
able to be buried in Featherftone-Street ; and 
a (hop and parlour being to let in Chifwell- 
Street, No. 46, I took them. This was at 
that time, and for fourteen years afterwards 
a very dull and obfcure fituation : as few ever 
pafTed through it, befides Spitalfield weavers 
on hanging days, and methodifls on preaching 
nights ; but flill it was much better adapted 
for bufmefs than Featherftone-Street. 

A few weeks after I came into Chifwell- 
Street, I bade a final adieu to the gentle craft, 
and converted my little flock of leather, &c. 
into old books ; and a great fale I had, con- 
lidering my flock ; which was not only 
extremely fmall, but contained very little 
variety, ns it principally confifled of divi- 
nity ; for as I had not much knowledge, fb 
I feldom ventured out of my depth. Indeed, 

there 



224 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

there was one clafs of books, which for the 
firft year or two that I called myfelf a book- 
feller, I would not fell, for fuch was my 
ignorance, bigotry, fuperflition (or what you 
pleafe) that I confcientioufly deftroyed fuch 
books as fell into my hands which were 
written by freethinkers ; for really fuppcfmg 
them to be dictated by the devil, I would 
neither read them myfelf, nor fell them to 
others. 

You will perhaps be furprifed when I in- 
form you, that there are in London (and I 
fuppofe in other populous places) perfons 
who purchafe every article which they have 
occafion for (and allb many articles which 
they have no occafion for) at ftalls, beggarly 
fhops, pawnbrokers, &c. under the idea of 
purchafmg cheaper than they could at ref- 
pedlable mops, and of men of property. A 
confiderable number of thefe kind of cuf- 
tomers I had in the beginning, who forfook 
my mop as foon as I began to appear more 
refpedlable, by introducing' better order, 
pofleffing more valuable books, and having 

acquired 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 225 

acquired a better judgment, &c. Notwith- 
landing whichj I declare to you, upon my 
honour, that thefe very bargain-hunters have 
given me double the price that I now charge 
for thoufands and tens of thoufands of vo- 
lumes. For as a tradefman increafes in 
refpeclability and opulence, his opportunities 
of purchafmg increafe proportionably, and 
the more he buys, and fells, the more he be- 
comes a judge of the real value of his goods* 
It was for want of this experience and judg- 
ment, ftock, &c. that for feveral years I was 
in the habit of charging more than double 
the price I now do for many thoufand arti- 
cles. But profeffed bargain- hunters often 
purchafe old locks at the ftalls in Moorfields, 
when half the wards are rutted off or taken 
out, and gire more for them than they would 
have paid for new locks to any reputable 
ironmonger. And what numerous inftances 
of this infatuation do we meet with daily at 
fales by auction, not of books only, but of 
many other articles ! Of which I could here 
adduce a variety of glaring inftances : but 
N (not 



226 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf. 

(not to tire you) a few of recent date mail 
fuffije. At the fale of Mr. Rigby's books at 
Mr. Chriftie's, Martyn's Di6tionary of Na- 
tural Hiftory fold for fifteen guineas, which 
then ftood in my catalogue at four pounds 

fifteen Jhill'tngs ; Pilkington's Dictionary of 
Painters, at feven guineas, ufually fold at 
three; Francis's Horace, two pounds eleven 

JbiHings, and many others in the fame man- 
ner. At Sir George Colebrook's fale, the 
olavo edition of the Tatler fold for two 
guineas and a half. At a fale a few weeks 
fince, Rapin's Hiftory, in folio, the two firft 
volumes only (inftead of five) fold for upwards 
of five pounds \ I charge for the fame from 
tenfoiltings andfixpence to one pound ten fallings ; 
and I fell great numbers of books to pawn- 
brokers, who fell them out of their windows 
at much higher prices, the purchafers be- 
lieving that they are buying bargains, and 
that iiich articles have been pawned ; and it 
is not only books which pawnbrokers pur- 

k chafe, but various other -matters, and they 
always purchaie the worft kind of very arti- 
cle. I will even add that many {hops which 

are 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 227 

are called pawnbrokers, never take in any. 
pawns, yet can live by felling things which 
are fuppofed to be kept over time. 

I went on profperoufly until fome time in 
September, 1775, when I was fuddenly 
taken ill of a dreadful fever ; and eight or 
ten days after^ my wife Was feized with the 
fame diforder; 

At that time 1 only kept a boy to help in 
iny (hop, fo that I fear,- while I lay ill, my 
wife had too much care and anxiety on her 
mind. I have been told that before fhe was 
confined to *her bed fhe walked about in a 
delirious ftate ; in whifch fhe did not long 
continue* but contrary to all expectation died, 
in enthufraftic rant, on the ninth of No- 
vember, furrounded with feveral methodiftical 
preachers; 

" Invidious death! how d oft thou rerU in furuler 
" Whom love has knit and fympathy made one ? 

*' A tie fo ftubborn." 

BLAIR'S Grave. 

She was in reality one of the bed of wo- 
men ; and although for about four years (he 
was ill the greateft part of the time r which 
N 2 involved 



22 8 LIFE OF j. LACKING-TON: 

involved me in the very depth of poverty ami 
diftrefs, yet I never once repented having 
married her. 

" . ftill bufy meddling memory, 

" In barbarous fucceffion, matters up 

" The paft endearments of our fofter hours, 

* Tenacious of his theme." 

BLAIR'S Grave, 

*1 is true file was entbufiaftical to an ex- 
treme, and of courfe very fuperflitious -and 
vifionary, but as I was very far gone myfelf, 
I did not think that a fault in her. 

Indeed me much exceeded me, and moft 
others that ever fell under mf obfervation, 
as (he in reality totally neglected and difre- 
garded every kind of pleafure whatever, but 
thofe of a fpiritual (or vifionary) nature. 
Methinks I here fee you fmile : but I affure 
you me made no exception ; but was a com- 
plete devotee, and what is more remarkable, 
without pride or ill-nature. 

" Intentions fo pure, and fuch meeknefs of fpirit, 

** Muft of courfe, and of right, Heaven's kingdom inherit.*' 

SlMKIt*. 

I am, dear Friend, yours. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 229 



LETTER XXII. 

** I've ftrange news to give you ! but .when you receive it, 

" 'Tis impoflible, Sir, that you (hoald believe it ; 

*' But as I've been told this agreeable ftory, 

" I'll digrefs for a raome-nt .to lay it before j r e/* 

I 

>EAR SIR, 

Z\ Friend of mine, of whofe 
veracity I entertain the higheft opinion, has 
favored me with an account of a lady, who 
has to the full as much, indeed more of the 
fpirit, but without the good-nature of Nancy 
Lackington. The facl is as follows; 

" J Tis true 'tis pity : and pity 'tis it's true." 

Mr. R t, a genteel tradefman with whom 
I am acquainted, having loft his fecond wife 
early in 1 790* courted and married one of the 
holy fitters a few months afterwards. They 
had lived together about nx months, when 
Mr. R t, one Sunday, being a fober reli- 
gious man, took down Doddridge's Lectures, 
And began to read them to his wife and family. 
N 3 But 



230 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

But this holy After found fault with her hufr 
band for reading fuch learned rational dif? 
courfes, which favoured too much of human 
reafon and vain philofophy, and wifhed he 
would read fomething more fpiritual and edi- 
fying. He attempted to convince her that 
Dr. Doddridge was not only a good rational 
divine, but to the full as fpiritual as any di- 
vine, ought to be ; and that to be more fpiri- 
tual he mufl be lefs rational, and of courfe 
become fanatical/ and vifionary. But thefe 
obfervations of the hufband fo difpleafed his 
fpiritual wife, that me retired to bed, and 
left her hufband to read Doddridge's Lectures 
as long as he chofe to his children by a former 
"Wife. 

The next morning while Mr. R t was 
out on bufmefs, this holy lifter, without lay- 
ing one iyliable to any perfon, packed up all 
her clothes, crammed them into a hackney 
coach, and away fhe went. Mr. R t, poor 
foul ! on coming home difcovered his immenfe 
Ipfs, and in an aimoft frantic flate, fpent the 
N 4 firft 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 231 

nrft fortnight in fruitlefs attempts todifcover 
her retreat. 

** Three weeks after her elopement, I was 
*' (fays Mr. R t) going down Cheap- 
66 fide one day, and favv a lady fomething 
" like my wife, but as me was fomewhat 
" difguifed, and I co'uld not fee her face, I 
*' was not fure. At laft I ventured to look 
" under her bonnet, and found, that, fure 
" enough, it was fhe. I then walked three 
" times backwards and forwards in Cheap- 
*' fide, endeavouring to perfuade her to re- 
*' turn with me, or to difcover where me 
" lived : but me obftihately refufed to re- 
" turn, or to let me fee her retreat ; and 
*' here (fays Mr. R t) I begged that me 
" would grant me a kifs j but Ihe would not 
" willingly. However after fome buftle in 
*' the flreet, I took a farewel kifs. Poos 
*' dear foul ! ffigh'd he) me is rather too 
" fpirhual I for notwithstanding I bid by 
*' her fide near fix months, me never would 
*' be prevailed upon to do any thing carnal j 
" and although I did all m my power to get 
M 4 the 



232 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" the better of her fpiritual fcruples, yet me 
" was always fo in love with Chrift her hea-r 
" venly fpoufe, that when me eloped from, 
" me, file was, I affure you, as good a vir- 
" gin as when I married her." 

I muft give you one more frory of the 
fame nature with the preceding. 

A gentleman of London happening to be 
on a vifit at Briftol about three years fmce, 
fell in love with a handfome young lady who 
was one of the holy fifterhood ; after a few 
weeks acquaintance he made her an offer of 
his perfon and fortune, and the young lady 
after proper inquiry had been made into the 
gentleman's family, fortune, &c. confented 
to make our lover happy. They were foon 
after married, and the fame day fet off in 
a poft-chaife towards London, in order to 
fleep the firft night at an inn, and fo fave the 
lady the blufhes occanoned by the jokes com- 
mon on fuch occafions ; this happy couple 
had been in bed about an hour when the cry 
of murder alarmed the houfe, this alarm pro- 
ceeding 



Lira OF J. LACKINGTON. 233 

ceeding from the room that was occupied by 
the bride an4 bridegroom, drew the company 
that way ; the inn-keeper knocked at the 
door and demanded admittance, our Benedict 
appeared at the door, and informed the hoft 
that his lady had been taken fuddenly ill in a 
kind of fit he believed, but that fhe was bet- 
ter ; and after the innkeeper's wife had been 
fent into the room to fee the young lady, and 
had found her well, all retired to bed. 

They had, however, not lain more than 
two hours, when the cry of murder, fire, &c. 
9gain alarmed the houfe, and drew many out 
of their beds once more, 

Our young gentleman then drefTed himfelf, 
and opening the door, informed the company 
that he had that morning been married to the 
young lady in bed, and that being married, 
he had infifted on being admitted to the pri- 
vilege of an huiband, but that the young 
lady had talked rnuch about the good of her 
poor foul, her fpiritual hufband, &c. and 
t^at inftead of granting what he conceived 

to 



2 3 4- LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

to be the right of every hufband, me had 
thought proper to difturb all in the houfe, 
He added, that having been thus made very 
ridiculous, he would take effectual care to 
prevent a repetition of the fame abfurd 
conduct, 

He then ordered a poft-chaife and fet off 
for London, leaving our young faint in bed 
to enjoy her fpiritual contemplations in their 
full extent, nor has he ever fince paid her 
any attention. 

Some time fince being in a large town in 
the Weil, (he was pointed out to me by a 
friend, as me was walking in the ftreet. 

The above puts me in mind of what Ovid 
fays was pradlifed by young maids on the 
feftival of the celebrated nymph AnnaPerenna^ 
thus tranflated by I know not who : 

*' With promifes the amorous god (he led, 

" And with fond hopes his eager paflion fed, 

At length 'tis done, the goddefs yields, (he cry'd; 

** My pray'rs have gain'd the viftory o'er pride, 

< With 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 235 

f f With joy the god prepares the golden bed j 

? Thither, her face conceal'd, is Anna led, 

f ( Juft on the brink of blifs, ftie ftands confefs'd ; * 

The difappointed lover is her jeft, L 

f* While rage and fharne alternate fvyell his brezrft. J 

I am informed from good authority that 
there are now in Mr. Wefley's fociety, in 
London, Ibme women who ever fince they 
were converted, have refufed to deep with 
their hufbands, and that fome of thofe will 
not pay the lead attention to any temporal 
concern whatever, being as they term it, 
wholly wrapped up in divine contemplation, 
having their fouls abforbed in divine love, ib 
as not to be interrupted by the trifling con- 
cerns of a huiband, family, &c. 
. 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 



LETTER XXIII. 

< Women that leave no ftone unturn'd, 
" In which the caufe might be coocern'd." 



" The man without fin, the methodift Rabbi, 

" Has perfectly cur'd the chlorofis of Tabby : 

f And if right I can judge from her fhape and face, 

'* She foon may produce an infant of grace. 

* Now they fay that all people in her iituatkm 

* Are very fine fubjefts for regeneration." 

New Bath Guides 

DEAR FRIEND, 

BECAUSE fome of the holy 
fitters are in their amours altogether fpiritual, 
you are by no means to underftand that 
they are all totally divefted of the carnal 
propenfity. 

Some of thefe good creatures are fo far 
from thinking that their huflbands are too 
carnal in their afFelions, that they really 
think that they are not enough fo ; and in- 
fiances are not wanting, in which, owing to 

their 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 237 

their having hufbands too fpl ritual, they have 
been willing to receive affiftance from the 
hulbands of other women. 

It is but about a year (ince a certain cele- 
brated preacher ufed to adminifter carnal con- 
folation to the wife of his clerk. This holy 
communication was repeated fo often, and fb 
open, that at lafl it came to the clerk's ears, 
who watching an opportunity, one day fur- 
prized the pious pair at their devotion, and fa 
belaboured the preacher with his walking- 
flaff, that the public were for near a month 
deprived- of the benefits refulting from his 
remarkable gift of eloquence. 

As I am got into the {lory- telling way, I 
cannot refill the temptation of telling ano- 
ther. 

A certain holy fifler who lately kept a 
houfe in a country village, within ten miles 
of London ; and took in (as they called it) 
Mr. Weiley's preachers, by taking in is only 
meant, that when they came in their turn to 

preach 



* 3 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

preach in the village (he ufed to fupply each 
with victuals and a bed ; (no doubt but they 
flept alone.) This lady was fo very remark- 
able for her fplrltual experience and divine 
gifts, that fhe attracted many to her houfe, 
betides fuch as came In the regular courfe of 
their duty, and among the former a preacher 
from London, from whom I learnt the af- 
fair. This preacher happening to want a 
wife, and being very fpirituallyrmindedj 
actually married her in December 1790, 
merely for her great gifts and grace, as her 
fortune was not above the fiftieth, part as 
much as his own j and as to perfon, {he is 
fcarce one degree above uglinefs itfelf \ 
although her hufband is well-proportioned^ 
and upon the whole a handfome man. They 
had not been married a week, when this fim* 
pie preacher difcovered that his gifted gra* 
cious faint was an incarnate devil, who had 
married him only to rob, plunder, and 
him, and in a few months between 

her and -her gallants, they bullied him out of 
a fettlement to the amount of four times the 

fum 



LIFE OF j. LACKINGTOK. 23? 

fum me brought him, and the poor pious 
preacher thinks that he has cheaply got rid 
of her. 

" Ah, foolilh woman ! may (he one day fee 
" How deep (he 's plung'd herfclf in infamy, 
" And with true penitence wa(h out the ftain ; 
But mifchief on't why Ihould I pray in vainj 
"" For (he's but harden'd at the name of grace, 
" No blufh was ever feen t' adorn her face." 

GOULD,, 

The reafon why I interefl myfelf in his 
behalf is, becaufe I am confident that he re- 
ally is an honed well-meaning man at the 
bottom ; but withal one that does not poflefs 
the greateft {hare of under/tending, and who 
being formerly but a mean mechanic, never 
had any education ; but although he is a 
great enthufiaft, yet he is one of the good- 
natured inoffenlive fort, who will do no harm 
to any perlbn, but on the contrary all the 
good in his power. I am only forry, as he 
lately was an honeft ufeful tradefman, that 
he mould have fo much fpiritual quixotiim 
in him, as at thirty years of age to fhut up 
his (hop and turn preacher, without being 

able 



240 LIFE 0$ J. LAGKINGTON, 

able to read his primer; which I can afTure 
you is the cafe. But here, my friend, you 
fee I forgot that thefe heavenly teachers only 
Ipeak as the Spirit giveth utterance, and that 
of courfe all human learning is entirely 
fuperfluous. 

" ~ " As he does not chufe to cull, 
" His faith by any fcripture rule j 
c But by the vapours that torment 
tf His brains, from hypocondria fenr, 
*' Which into dreams and vifions turn, 
" And make his zeal fo fiercely burn, 
" That reafon lofes the afcendant, 
' And all within grows independant, 
" He proves all fuch as do accord 
" With him the chofen of the Lord ; 
' But that all others are accurft, 
' 'Tis plain in Canticles the firft." 

BUTLER'S Pofth. Works. 

A few years fince the methodift-preachers 
got footing in Wellington (the famous birth- 
place of your humble fervant) and eftablifhed 
a fociety there, foon after which one of their 
preachers (at Collompton, a neighbouring 
town) happened tq like a young fervant girl, 
who was one of the holy fillers, ihe having 

gone 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 241 

gone through the new birth, better than his 
wife, becaufe me was an unenlightened, un- 
converted woman. But this fervant girl 
happening to be with child, the news foon 
reached Wellington ; and a very wealthy 
gentleman who entertained the, preachers 
there followed the preacher of Collompton's 
example, and got his own pious maid with 
child. 

" Blefled ftie tbo* once rejefted, 

" Like a little wandering flieep ; 
' Poor maid, one morning was eleftcd 

By a vifion in her fleep." 

After this fome of the fociety in Welling- 
ton began to have all things in common, and 
feveral more of the holy fitters proved proli* 
fie , which fo alarmed the parifh, that fome 
of the heads of it infifted that the preachers 
mould not be permitted to preach there any 
longer. " For, if (faid they) the methodift- 
fociety continues, we lhall have the parifh 

fullofbaitards." 

/ 

O A fimilar 



242 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

A fimilar affair happened at a country 
town, ten or twelve miles from Oxford, 
about two years fince, where a very hand- 
fome powerful preacher made converts of a 
great number of women, both married and 
fingle, who were wonderfully affected, and 
great numbers flocked to his ftandard ; but 
he had not laboured there more than a year, 
before the churchwardens were made ac- 
quainted with his powerful operations on 
fine young female faints, who all fwore baf- 
tards to this holy, fpiritual labourer in the 
vineyard ; upon which the gentlemen of the 
town exerted thernfelves, and prevented the 
farther propagation of methodifm ; as 

" The ladies by fympathy feem'd to difcover 

" The advantage of having a fpiritual lover. 

" They were fadly afraid that wives, widows, and mifles 

" Would confine to the all their favors and kiffes." 

The author of a letter to Dr. Coke and 
Mr. More, publimed fince the rft edition 
of my Memoirs, informs us, that a gentle- 
man of Chefham had a daughter about feven- 
teen years of age, which he put into the 

hands 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 24.3 

hands of a methodift parfon, to have her con- 
verted, and was exceedingly kind and liberal 
to him ; and we are informed that this rafcal 
converted her firfr, and debauched her after- 
wards. 

So you fee, my dear friend, by the above 
examples (were it neceflary, I could give you 
many more) that not all the converted and 
fanclified females are thereby become fb ab- 
forbed in the fpiritual delights of the myfti- 
cal union, as to have loft all relifli for carnal 
connections; as we find that many among 
them are blefTed with a mind fo capacious, as 
to be able to participate in the pleafures of 
both worlds* 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours. 



O 2 LETTER 



244 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK, 



LETTER XXIV. 

" It was not good for man to be alone : 
" An equal, yet the fubjeft, is defign'd 
' For thy foft hours, and to unbend the mind." 

DRYDKK, 

" Woman, man's chiefeft good, by heaven defiga'd 
'* To glad the heart, and humanize the mind ; 
" To footh each angry care, abate each ftrife, 
" And lull the paflions as we walk through life." 

Art of Living in London. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

A.FTER a long digreffion, I 
mufl now return to my own affairs. 

I continued in the above-mentioned dread- 
ful fever many weeks, and my life was def- 
paired of by all that came near me. During 
which time, my wife, whom I affectionately 
loved, died and was buried, without my 
once having a fight of her. What added 
much to my misfortunes, feveral nurfes that 
were hired to take care of me and my wife, 

proved 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 245 

proved fo abandoned and depraved as to have 
loft all fenfe of moral obligation, and every 
tender feeling for one who to all appearance 
was juft on the point of death : feveral of 
thefe monfters in female fhape robbed my 
drawers of linen, &c. and kept themfelves 
drunk with gin, while I lay unable to move 
in my bed, and was ready to perifh, partly 
owing to want of cleanlinefs and proper care. 
Thus fituated, 1 muft inevitably have fallen 
a vidYim, had it not been for my fifter Doro- 
thy, wife of Mr. Northam of Lambeth, and 
my fifter Elizabeth, wife of Mr. Bell in 
Soho. Thefe kind fillers, as foon as they 
were informed of the deplorable flare in 
which I lay, notwithstanding fome mifun- 
4erftanding which fubiifted between us, and 
prevented me from fending for them, ha- 
tened to me, and each fat up with me alter- 
nately, fo that I had one or the other with 
me every night ; and, contrary to all expec- 
tation, I recovered. But this recovery was 
in a very (low manner. 

O 9 As 



246 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

As foon as I was able to enquire into the 
{rate of my affairs, I found that Mr. Whee-, 
ler, fack and rope-maker in Old-ftreet, and 
Meffrs. Bottomley and Shaw, carpenters and 
fam-makers in Bunhill-rovv, had laved mo 
from ruin, by locking up my mop, which 
contained my little all. Had not this been 
done, the nurles would no doubt have con- 
trived means to have emptied my mop, as 
effectually as they had doqe my drawers, 

The above gentlemen not only took care 
of my fhop, but alfo advanced money to pay 
fuch expences as occurred ; and as my wife 
was dead, they affifted in making my will 
in favour of my mother. 

Thefe worthy gentlemen belong to Mr. 
Wefley's fociety (and notwith {landing they 
have imbibed many enthufiaftic whims) yet 
would they be an honour to any fociety, and 
are a credit to human nature. I hope that I 
never fhall recollect their kindnefs without 
being filled with the warmeffc Sentiments of 
gratitude towards them, 

v. He 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 247 

*' He that hath Nature in him muft be grateful ; 

" 'Tis the Creator's primary great Law, 

" That links the chain of being to each other, 

" Joining the greater to the lefler nature, 

" Tying the weak and ftrong, the poor and powerful, 

*' Subduing men to brutes, and even brutes to men." 

On my recovery I alfo learnt that Mifs 
Dorcas Turton (the young woman that kept 
the houfe, and of whom I then rented the 
fhop, parlour, kitchen and garret) having 
out of kindnefs to my wife, occafionally 
aflifted her during her illnefs, had caught the 
fame dreadful diforder, {lie was then very 
dangeroufly ill, and people fhunned the houfe 
as much as if the plague had been in it. So 
that when I opened my mop again, I was flared 
at 'Us though I had actually returned from the 
'other world ; and it was a confiderable time 
before many of my former cuftomers could 
credit that 1 really was in exiftence, it having 
been repeatedly reported that I was dead. 

Mifs Dorcas Turton, was a charming 

young woman, and you muft now be made 

O 4 farther 



2 4 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

farther acquainted with her. She is the 
daughter of Mr. Samuel Turton of StafFord- 
fhire ; her mother by marriage, ftill retained 
her maiden name, which was Mifs Jemima 
Turton, of Oxfordshire. Mr. Samuel Turton 
had a large fortune of his own, and about 
twenty thoufand pounds with his wife Mifs 
Jemima, but by an unhappy turn for gaming 
he diffipated nearly the whole of it, and was 
obliged to have recourfe to trade to help 
fupport his family. 

' *Tis loft at dice, what ancient honour won, 
' Hard, when the father plays away the fon ! 

He opened a mop as a faddler's ironmonger, 
but as he was but little acquainted with 
trade, and as his old propenfity to gaming 
never quitted him, it is no wonder that he 
did not fucceed in his bufmefs ; and to crown 
all his other follies, he was bound for a 
falfe friend in a large fum ; this completed 
his ruin. 

His wife died in Jan. 1773, and his final 
ruin eniued a few months after j fo that from 

that 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 549 

that time to his death he was partly fuppor- 
ted by his daughter Mifs Dorcas Turton, 
who cheerfully fubmitted to keep a fchool, 
and worked very hard at plain work, by 
which means (he kept her father from want. 
The old gentleman died a, few months after 
I came into the (hop. Being partly ac- 
quainted with this young lady's goodnefs to 
her father, I concluded that fo amiable a 
daughter was very likely to make a good 
wife; I alfo knew that fhe was immode- 
rately fond of books, and would frequently 
read until morning; this turn of mind in 
her was the greateft of all recommendations 
to me, who having acquired a few ideas, was 
at that time reftlefs to increafe them : fo 
that I was in. raptures with the bare 
'thoughts of having a woman to read with, 
and alfo to read to me. 

'* Of all the pleafures, noble and refin'd, 

" Which form, the tafle and cultivate the mind, 

" In every realm where fcience darts its beams, 

*.' From Thale's ice to Afric's golden ftrearns, 

" From climes where Phoebus pours his orient ray, 

' ' To the fair regions of declining day, 

" The 



2 5 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" The " Feaft of Reafon" which from READING fprings 

" To reas'ning man the higheft folace brings. 

" 'Tis BOOKS a lading pleafure can fupply, 

" Charm while we live, and teach us how to die." 

LACKING-TON'S Shop Bill; 

I embraced the firft opportunity after her 
recovery to make her acquainted with my 
mind, and as we were no grangers to each 
others characters and circumftances, there 
was no need of a long formal courtmip ; fo I 
prevailed on her not to defer our union lon- 
ger than the 3oth of January, 17/6, when 
for the fecond time I entered into the holy 
flate of matrimony, 

" Wedded Love is founded on efteem, 

" Which the fair merits of the mind engage : 

*' For thofe are charms that never can decay, 

,'* But Time, which gives new whitenefs to the fwan, 

" Improves their luftre."' 

FEN TON. 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours. 

LETTER 



i. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 251 



LETTER XXV, 

" Reafon re-baptiz'd me when adult : 
" Weigh'd true from falfe, in her impartial fcale* 
tf Truth, radiant goddefs ! Tallies on my foul ! 
" And puts delufion's duflcy train to flight." 

YOUNG. 

ff All the myftic lights were quench'd." 

LEE. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

.LAm now in February 1776, 
arrived at an important period of my life. 
Being lately recovered from a very painful, 
dangerous, and hopelefs illnefs, I fonnd my- 
felf once more in a confirmed ftate of health, 
furrounded by my little flock in trade, which 
was but juft faved from thieves, and which 
to me was an immenfe treafure. Add to the 
above, my having won a fecond time in a 
game where the odds were fo much againft 
me ; or to ufe another fimile, my having 
drawn another prize in the lottery of wed- 
lock, and thus like John Buncle repaired the 

lofs 



252 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

lofs of one very valuable woman by the a 
quifition of another (till more valuable. 

" O woman ! let the libertine decry, 

" Rail at the virtuous love he never felt, 

" Nor wifh'd to feel. Among the fex there are 

** Numbers as greatly good as they are fair; 

Where rival virtues ftrive which brightens moft, 

" Beauty the fmalleft excellence they boaft ; 

4< Where all unite fubftantial blifs to prove, 

' And give mankind in them a tafte of joys above," 



Reflecting on the above united circum- 
ftances, I found in my heart an unufual fen- 
fation, fuch as until then I had been a ftranger 
to : my mind began to expand, intellectual 
light and pleafure broke in and difpelled the 
gloom of fanatical melancholy ; the four- 
nefs of my natural temper which had been 
much increafed by fuperflition, (called by 
Swift, " the fpleen of the foul/') in part 
gave way, and was fucceeded by cheerful- 
nefs, and fome degree of good-nature. 

It was in one of thefe cheerful moods that 
I one day took up the Life of John Buncle j 
and it is impoffible for my friend to imagine 

with 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 253 

with what eagernefs and pleafure I read 
through the whole four volumes of this whim- 
fical, fenfible, pleafing work ; it was written 
by Thomas Amory, Efq. (who was living in 
the year 1788, at the great age of 97) and I 
know not of any work more proper to he put 
into the hands of a poor ignorant Lrigotted 
fuperiVitious methodift ; but the misfortune 
is, that fcarce one of them will read any 
thing but what fuits with their own narrow 
notions, fo that they fhut themfelves np in 
darknefs, and exclude every ray of intellec- 
tual light ; which puts me in mind of the 
enthufiafts on the banks of the Ganges, who 
will not look at any thing beyond the tip of 
their nofes. By the time I had gone through 
the laft volume, 

" My foul had took its freedom up.'* 

GREEN. 

I alfo received great benefit from reading 
Coventry's Philemon to Hydafpes ; it con- 
iifts of dialogues on falle religion, extrava- 
gant devotion, &c. in which are many very 
curious remarks on vifionaries of various ages 

and 



2$4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

and fects. The works is complete in five 
parts o&avo. There has alfo been a decent 
Scotch edition, publiflied in twelves, both 
editions are now rather fcarce. 

I now began to enjoy many innocent plea- 
fures and recreations in life, without the fear 
of being eternally damn'd fora laugh, a joke, 
or for fpending a fociable evening with a few 
friends, going to the play-houfe, &c. &c. 

In fhort I faw that true religion was n 
way incompatible with, or an enemy to ra- 
tional pleafures of any kind. As life (fays 
one) is the gift of heaven, it is religion to 
enjoy it. 

" Fools by excefs make varied pleafure pall, 

" The wife man's moderate, and enjoys them all." 

VOLTAIRE by Franklin. 

I now alfo began to read with great plea- 
fure the rational and moderate divines of all 
denominations : and a year or two after I be- 
gan with metaphyfics, in the intricate though 
pleating labyrinths of which I have occafion- 

ally 



LIFE OF, J. LACKINGTON. 255 

ally flnce wandered, nor am I ever likely to 
find my way out. 

<f Like, ajfeuide in a mift have I rambled about, 

" Amfc/ow come at laft where at firft I fet out ; 

" Ad^unlefs for new lights we have reafon to hope, 

" Iq darknefs it muft be my fortune to grope." 

I arh not in the lead uneafy on that head, 
as I Ijave no doubt of being in my laft mo- 
ments able to adopt the language of one of 
the greateft men that ever exiiled : 

*' Great God, whofe being by thy works is known, 
" Hear my laft words from thy eternal throne : 
" If I miftook, 'twas while thy law I fought, 
" I may have err'd, but thou wert in each thought, 
" Fearlefs I look beyond the opening grave, 
" And cannot think the God who being gave, 
* r The God whofe favours made my blifs o'erflow, 
" Has doom'd me, after death, to endlefs woe." 

In the mean time I can fmcerely adopt the 
following lines of Mr. Pope. 

If I am ri-ht, thy grace impart, 

" Still in the right to ftay ; 
** If I am wrong! O teach my heart, 

" To find the better way." 

Having 



256 LIFE OF J. LACKINGf ON. 

Having begun to think rationally, and 
reafon freely on religious matters, you may 
be fure 1 did not long remain in Mr. Wefley's 
fociety. What is remarkable, I well remem- 
ber that fome years before, Mr. Wefley told 
his fociety in Broadmead, Briftol, in my 
hearing, that he could never keep a book- 
feller fix months in his flock, (all fanatics 
are enemies to reafon.) He was then point- 
ing out the danger that attended clofe rea- 
foning in matters of religion and fpiritual* , 
concerns, in reading controve'rfies, &c. at 
that time I had not the leafl idea of my ever 
becoming a bookfeller : but I no fooner be- 
gan to give fcope to my reafoning faculties 
than the above remarkable aflertion occurred 
to my mind. 

But that which rather haflened my de- 
parture from methodifm was this. The 
methodift preachers were continually repro- 
bating the practice of matters and miftrerTes 
keeping fervants at home on Sundays, to 
drefs dinners, which prevented them from 
hearing the word of God (by the word of 

God 



\ T LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 257 

God they mean their own jargon of non- 
fenfe) ; afluring them if the fouls of fuch 
fervants were damned, they might in a great 
meafure lay their damnation at the doors of 
fuch matters and miftreffes, who rather than 
eat a cold dinner, would be guilty of break- 
ing the fabbath, and rifking the fouls of 
their fervants. But how great was my fur- 
prize on difcovering that thefe very men who 
were continually preaching up fafting, abftl- 
nence, &c. to their congregations, and who 
wanted others to dine off cold dinners, or 
eat bread and cheefe, Bcc. would themfelves 
not even fup, without roafled fowls, &c. 

This I found to be fact, as I feveral times 
had occafion after attending the preaching to 
go into the kitchen behirud the old Foundery, 
(which at that time was Mr. Wefley's 
preaching houfe ;) there I faw women who 
had been kept from hearing the fermon, &c. 
they being employed in roafting fowls, and 
otherwife providing good fuppers for the 
preachers. 

P So 



4 5 * LIFE OF /. LACKINGTOlSf. 

" So,'* faid I, " you lay burthens on other 
men's fhoulders, but will not fo much as 
touch them yourfelves with one of your 
fingers/* 

A ridiculous inftance of the fame naturer 
happened alfo fome years fince at Taunton. 
One of Mr. Wefley's preachers, whofe name 
was Cotterrell, affured his congregation from 
r time to time, that every baker that baked 
meat on Sundays would be damned, and 
every perfon that partook of fuch meat would 
alfo be damned ; on which a poor baker fhut 
tip his oven on Sundays ; the confequence 
was, that he loft his cuftomers, as fuch 
bakers as baked their victuals on Sunday, 
had their cuftom on other days, fo that the 
poor baker's family was nearly reduced to 
the workhoufe ; when one Sunday paffing 
before the door where he knew the preacher 
was to dine, he was very much furprifed to 
fee a baked leg of pork carried into the 
houfe, and after a few minutes reflections 
i he rufhed in and found the pious preacher 
eating part of the baked leg of pork, on 

which 






JJFE OF j. LACKINGTON. 25$ 

which he bid farewel to the methodifts, and'' 
again took care for his family. 

It perhaps is worth remarking, that many 
poof hair-dreflers in Mr. Wefley's fociety 
are reduced to extreme poverty, they cannot 
get employment, as they will not drefs hair 
jon Sundays; and I find that a poor milk 
woman, who until the beginning of this year 
1-792, maintained her family in a decent 
-manner, was lately frightened out of her 
underflanding by a methodift preacher ; her 
crime was, the felling milk on Sundays. The 
-poor wretch is now confined in Bedlam, and 
her five children are in a workhoufe. 

I at this time know a bookfeller, who 
being a methodift, is fo confcientious as to 
have his hair drefled on the evening of every 
Saturday, and to prevent its being difcom- 
pofed in the night, he on thofe nights always 
deeps in his elbow chair. Indeed fome tell 
the ftory different, and fay, that his hair is 
drefled on Saturday morning, and by fleep- 
ing in his chair he faves the expence of 
P 2 dre/fing 



26o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

dreffing on Sundays ; others fay, that the 
firft is the fa<t, and that he hinted at it in 
his mop-bills, in order that the public may 
know where to find a tradefman that had a 
very tender conference. 

I was one day called afide and a hand-bill 
was given me ; and thinking it to be a quack 
do&or's bill for a certain difeafe, I exprefled 
my furprife at its being given to me in fuch 
a particular manner ; but on reading it I 
found it contained a particular account of 
the wonderful converiion of a John Biggs, 
when he was twenty-one years of age. Mr. 
Biggs fays, that ever fmce that time he has 
had communion with God his Father every 
hour. He publimes this bill (he fays) for 
the glory of God ; but that the public might 
have an opportunity of dealing with this 
wonderful faint and perfectly holy man, he 
put his addrefs in capitals, John Biggs, No. 
98, Strand. I keep this bill as a curiofity. 

I am, dear Friend, yours. 
LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 261 



LETTER XXVI. 

*" Good morrow to thee : How doft do ? 
ft 1 only juft call'd in, to fhew 
*' My love, upon this blcffed day, 
** As I by chance came by this way. 

BUTLER'S Pollh. Works. 

** Let not your weak unknowing hand 

" Prefume God*s bolts to throw, 
" And deal damnation round the land, 

" On each you judge his foe," 



DEAR FRIEND, 

JL Had no fooner left Mr. 
Wefley's fociety, and begun to talk a little 
more like a rational being, but I found that 
I had incurred the hatred of feme, the pity 
of others, the envy of many, and the dif- 
pleafure of all Mr. Wefley's old women ! 
So that for a long time I was conftantly 
teafed with their impertinent nonfenfe. I 
believe that never was a poor devil fo plagued. 

" Superftition is dreadful in her wrath, 
f4 Her diie Anathema's againft you dart." 

HEKRIADE. 

P 5 Some 



2 6 2 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

Some as they pafled by my door in their 
way to the Foundery would only make a 
flop and lift up their hands, turn up the 
whites of their eyes, fhake their heads, 
groan, and pafs on, Many would call in 
and take me afide, and after making rueful 
faces-, addrefs me with, " Oh, Brother 
Lackington ! I am very forry to find that 
you who began in the Spirit are now like to 
end in the flefh. Pray brother, do remen> 
ber Lot's wife.'* Another would interrupt 
rne in my bufinefs, to tell me, that " he 
that putteth his hand to the plough, and 
looketh back, is unfit for the kingdom.' 1 
Another had juft called as he was palling by, 
to caution me againft the bewitching fnares 
of profperity. Others again called to know 
if I was as happy then as I was when I con- 
ftantly fought the Lord with my brethren, 
in prayer meeting, in, clafs, in band, &c, 
When I allured them that I vyas more happy, 
they in a very folemn manner aflured me, 
that I was under a very great delufion of the 
devil ^ and when I by chance happened to, 

lavgh 



LIFE OF J. LACKJNGTON. 263 

laugh at their enthufiaflic rant, fome have 
run out of my (hop, declaring that they 
were afraid to ftay under the fame roof with 
me, led the houfe mould fall on their heads. 
Sometimes I have been -acceded m. fuch an 
alarming manner as though the houfe was 
on fire, with " Oh ! brother! brother i 
you are fa ft afleep 1 and the flames of hell 
are taking hold of you I JJ> 

A certain preacher allured me, in the pre- 
ience of feveral gentlemen, that the devij, 
would foon toCs me about in the flames of 
hell with a pitchfork. This fame eloquent 
mild preacher ufed occafionally to ftrip to 
fa is fhirt to dodge the devil.. 

Mr. E. a gentleman of my acquaintance, 
going through fome alley, one Sunday, hear- 
ing a very uncommon noife, was led by 
curiofity to the houfe from whence it pro- 
ceeded, and there he faw -elevated ahove an 
aflembly of old women, .&c. this t ay lor, ftript 
in his fhirt, with his wig off, and the collar 
dof his hir unbuttoned, fweating, foaming 
P 4 ^ 



264. LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

at the mouth, and bellowing like a baited 
bull. In the above manner it feems he would 
often amufe himfelf and his congregation for 
near two hours, 

" Curflng from his (Veating tub, 
" The cavaliers of Belzebub." 

BUTLER'S Poflh. Works. 

Some of the Tabernacle faints allured me, 
that I never had one grain of laving grace, 
and that when I thought myfelf a child of 
God, I was only deluded by the devil,, who 
being now quite fure of me, did not think it 
worth his' while to deceive me any longer. 
Others advifed me to take care of linning 
againft light and knowledge, and pioufly 
hoped that it was not quite too late ; that I 
had not (they hoped) commuted the unpar- 
donable fin againft the Holy Ghoft. Others 
again, who happened to be in a better hu- 
mour, often told me that they mould fee me 
brought back to the true fheepfold, as they 
really hoped I had once been in a ftate of 
grace, and if fo, that I always was in grace, 



LIFE OF J. LAGKINGTON. 265 

hi fpite of all I could do : the Lord would 
never quit his hold of me ; that I might fall 
foully, but that it was impoffible for me to 
falljina/fy, as in the end I fhould be brought 
back on the moulders of the everlafting gof- 
pel, for when God came to number his 
jewels, not one would be miffing. 

One of thefe righteous men, after paffing 
fome encomiums on me for my moral cha- 
lafter, aflured me that J had by no mean* 
fallen fo low as many of God's dear children 
had fallen, but fall as low as they poffibly 
can, faid he, they are ftill God's children, 
for altho' they may " be black with (in they 
are fair within/' He then read to me the 
following paflage out of a pamphlet written 
againfl Mr. Fletcher by Mr. R. Hill. " David 
*' flood ascompkrely juftifiedinthe everlafting 
f righteouihefs of Ch rift, at the time when 
f he caufed Uriah to be murdered, and was 
*' committing adultery with his wife, as he 
f ' was in any part of his life. For all the fins 
f* pf the cleft, be they more or be they lefs, 

" be 



2 66 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

*' be they paft, prefent, or to come, were 
" for ever done away. So that every one 
< of thofe eltft ftand Ipotlefs in the fight of 
" God." Is not this a very comfortable kind 
of do&rine ? The pernicious confequences of 
fuch tenets imprelTed on the minds of the 
ignorant followers of thefe quacks in reli- 
gion, muft be obvious to every perfon capa- 
ble of reflection, They have nothing to do 
but to enlift themfelves in the band of the 
elect, and no matter then how criminal their 
life! 

Thus, my dear frien'd, I was for a long 
time coaxed by fome, threatened with all the 
tortures of the damned by others, and con* 
jftantly teafed fome how or other by all the 
xnethodifts who came near me, 

' Surrounded by foes, as I fat in my chair, 

" Who attacked like dogs that are baiting a bear." 

I at laft determined to laugh at all their 
ridiculous perverfions of the fcripture, and 
their fpiritual cant. The conference (as 

might 



LlfrE OF J. LACKINGTON. 267 

might be expelled) was, they pioufly and 
charitably configned me over to be tormented 
by the devil, and every where declared that 
,1 was turned a downright atheiil. But the 
afperfions of fuch fanatics gave me no con- 
cern, for 

* If there's a power above us, 



" (And that there is, all nature cries aloud 

" Through all her works) he muft delight in Virtue ; 

" And that which he delights in muft be happy." 

ADDISON'S Cato. 

And no matter " when or where,** After 
relating fuch ridiculeus ftufFas the above, I 
think that I cannot conclude this better than 
with Swift's humorous and fatirical account 
of the day of judgment ; fo humorous that 
J would not have quoted it had it not been 
written by a divine of the Church of 
England, 

With a whirl of thought opprefs'd., 
<f I funk from reverie to reft, 
i* An horrid vifion feiz'd my head, 
*f J f^w the graves give up their dead ; 

' Jove 



2 68 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

" Jove arm'd with terrors burfts the fkies, 
" And thunder roars, and light'ning flies! 
" Amaz'd, confus'd, its fate unknown, 
* The world ftands trembling at his throne! 
* While each pale iinner hung his head, 
* Jove nodding, (hook the heavens and faid, 
" Offending race of human kind, 
" By nature, reafon, learning blind j 
f You who thro* frailty ftept afide, 
" And you who never fell thro* pride, 
" You who in different fefts were fham'd, 
'* And come to fee each other damn'd ! 
(So fome folks told you, but they knew, 
.*' No more of Jove's defigns than you) 
" The world's mad bufinefs now is o'er, 
" And I refent thofe pranks no more, 
" I to fuch blockheads fet my wit! 
** I damn fuch fools ! go, go, you're bit,** 



I am, 

Pear Friend, 

Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 269 



LETTER XXVII. 

" In London ftreets is often feen 
tf A hum-drum faint with holy mein, 
" His looks mod primitively wear 
" An antient Abrahamick air, 

* 

" And like bad copies of a face, 
" The good original difgrace." 

BUTLER'S Pofth. Works. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

XT being generally known 
that I had for many years been a ftrict me- 
thodift, fince I have freed myfelf from their 
fhackles, I have been often afked if I did 
not believe or rather know, that the metho- 
difts were a vile feet of hypocrites altoge- 
ther ? My reply has been uniformly in the 
negative. 1 am certain that they are not in 
general fo. The major part of them indeed 
are very ignorant (as is the cafe with enthu- 
fiafts of every religion) ; but I believe that a 
great number of the methodifts are iincere, 
honeft, friendly people ; in juftice'to thofe of 

that 



2 7 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf, 

that defcription it may not be amifs to ob- 
ferve, that many artful, fly, defigning per- 
fons, having noticed their character, con- 
nections, &c. and knowing that a religious 
perfon is in general fuppofed to be honeft 
and confcientious, have been induced to join 
their focieties, and % by afluming an appear- 
ance of extraordinary fanctity, have the bet- 
ter been enabled to cheat and defraud fuch as 
were not guarded againfr. their hypocritical 
wiles. 

" Making religion a difguife, 
" Or cloak to all their viljanies." 

BUTLER'S Pofth. Works. 

I [have alfo reafon to believe that there are 
not a few, who think that they can as it 
were afford to cheat and defraud, on the fcore 
of having right notions of religion in their 
heads, hearing what they deem orthodox 
teachers, going to prayer-meetings, &c. 

There are again others who think, that 
grace, is fo free and fo eafy to be had, or in 
other words, that as they can have pardon 

for 



LIFE OF j. LACKINGTON. 271 

for all kinds of fins, and that at any time 
whenever they pleafe, they under this idea 
make very little confcience of running up 
large fcores, to which pra&ice I fear fuch 
doctrines as 1 noticed in my laft, from the 
pen of Mr. Hill, have not a little con- 
tributed. 

I have often thought that great hurt has 
been done to fociety by the methodiil: preach- 
ers, both in town and country, attending 
condemned malefactors, as by their fanatical 
converfation, vifionary hymns, bold and 
impious applications of the fcriptures, &c. 
many dreadful offenders againft law and juf- 
tice, have had their paffions and imagina- 
tions fo worked upon, that they have been 
Tent to the other world in iuch raptures, as 
would better become martyrs innocently fuf- 
fering in a glorious caufe, than criminals of 
the firft magnitude. 

A great number of narratives of thefe fud- 
den converfions and triumphant exits- have 
been compiled, many of them published, and 

circulated 



* 7 i LtFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

circulated with the greateft avidity, to the 
private emolument of the editors, and doubt- 
lefs to the great edification of all finners, long 
habituated to a courfe of villainous depreda- 
tions on the lives and properties of the honefr, 
part of the community j and many fuch ac- 
counts as have not appeared in print, have 
been affiduoufly proclaimed in all the metho- 
dift chapels and barns, throughout the three 
kingdoms; by which the good and pious of 
every denomination have been fcandalized r 
and notorious offenders encouraged to perfe- 
vere, trufring fooner or later^ to be honoured 
with a {imilar degree of notice, and thus by 
a kind of hocus pocus, be fuddenly trans- 
formed into faints. 

The following remarks made by the com- 
pilers of the Monthly Review for 1788, page 
286, are fo applicable to the prefent fubjecl, 
that J hope my introducing the paffage will 
not be deemed improper. After mentioning 
a couplet in one of the methodiflical hymns, 
where it is faid 

" Belirtt 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 273 

" Believe and all your fin's forgiven." 
" Only believe and yours is heaven." 

they proceed thus : 

" Such doctrine no doubt mud: be com- 
fortable to poor wretches fo circumftanced as 
thofe were to whom this pious preacher had 
the goodnefs to addrefs his difcourfe ; but 
fome (and thofe not men of fh allow reflec- 
tion) have questioned whether it is altogether 
right, thus to free the moft flagitious outcafts 
of fociety from the terrors of an after-reckon- 
ing j fince it is too well known, that moft of 
them make little account of their punim.- 
ment in this world. Inftead of the fc< fear- 
full looking for of (future) judgment ; J> they 
are enraptured with the profpect of a joyful 
flight " to the expanded arms of a loving 
Saviour longing to embrace his long loft 
children." Surely this is not the way (hu- 
manly fpeaking) to check the alarming pro- 
grefs of moral depravity ; to which, one 
would think no kind of encouragement ought 
ro be given." 

Q 1 muft 



274 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

I muft obferve farther, that the unguarded 
manner in which the methodift preachers 
make tenders of pardon and falvation, has 
induced many to join their fraternity, whofe 
confciences wanted very large plaifters in- 
deed ! many of thofe had need to be put 
under a courfe of mortification and penance, 
but they generally adopt another method ; a 
few quack noftrums, which they call faith and 
affurance, drys up the wound, and they then 
make themfelves as hateful by affecting to 
have fqueamifh confciences, as they really 
have been obnoxious, for having confciences 
of very wide latitude indeed. And notwith- 
ftanding the affecled change, they often are 
as bad, or worfe than ever. As a friend, 
permit me to advife you never to purchafe 
any thing at a (hop where the mafter of it 
crams any of his pious nonfenfe into his fhop- 
bill, &c'. as you may be affured you will 
nine times .out often find them, in the end, 
arrant hypocrites, and as fuch, make no 
fcruple of cheating in the way of trade, if 
poffible. 

This 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 275 

This puts me in mind of one of thefe 
pious brethren in Petticoat-lane who wrote 
in his mop- window, " Rumps and Burs fold 
here, and Baked Sheep's heads will be con- 
tinued every night, if the Lord permit" 
The Lord had no objection : fo Rumps, 
Burs, and Baked Sheep* s heads were fold 
there a long time. And I remember to have 
feen on a board, near Bedminfter-down, 
" Tripe and cow-heels fold here as ufual, 
except on the Lord's-day, which the Lord 
help me to keep" And on my enquiring 
about the perfon who exhibited this remark- 
able mew-board, at the inn juft by, I was 
informed that the pious Tripe-feller gene- 
rally got drunk on Sundays, after he returned 
from the barn-preaching; which accounts 
for his not felling tripe on that day, having 
full employment (though poffibly not fo 
inoffenfive) elfe\\here. 

I alto fa\v in a village near Plymouth in 

Devonfhire, " Roger Tuttel, by God's grace 

and mercy, kills rats, moles, and all forts of 

Q 2 vermin 



276 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

vermin and venomous creatures." But I 
. need not have gone,fo far, as, no doubt you 
muft remember that a few years fince, a cer- 
tain pious common-council man of the metro- 
polis, advertifed in the public papers for a 
porter that could carry three hundred weight 
andferve the Lord. Of the fame worthy 
perfonage I have heard it allerted, that fo 
very confcientious is he, that he once ftaved 
a barrel of beer in his cellar, becaufe he de- 
tected it working on the fabbath-day, which 
brought to my recollection four lines in drun- 
ken Barnaby's Journey : 

" To Banbury came I ; O prophane one .' 
" Where I faw a puritane one, 
'* Hanging of his cat on Monday, 
" For killing of a raoufe on Sunday. 

Mr. L e, a gentleman of my acquaint- 
ance informs me, that a methodifbneighbour 
of his, in St. Martin's-lane, who keeps a 
parcel of fowls, every Saturday night, makes 
a point of confcience of tying together 
the legs of every cock he has, in order to 

prevent 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 277 

prevent them from breaking the fabbath, by 
treading the hens on Sundays. 

I have a few more obfervations to make on 
this remarkable feft, but fearing I have 
already tired you, mall refer ve them for my 
next. 

*' Seeming devotion doth but gild the knave, 
" T^0fc neither faithful, honeft, juft, or brave, 
" But where religion does with virtue join, 
" It makes a hero like an angel fliine f " 

WALLER, 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 

/ 

Yours. 



LETTER 



278 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 



LETTER XXVIII. 

* ' Under this ftone refts Hudibras, 
" A Knight as errant as e'er was : 
' The controverfy only lies, 
*' Whether he was more fool than wife ; 
" Full oft he fuffer'd bangs and drubs, 
f* And full as oft took pains in tubs : 
*' And for the good old Caufe flood buff, 
' 'Gainft many a bitter kick and cuff, 
' Of which the mpft that can be faid, 
" He pray'd and preach'd, and preach'd and pray'd." 

BUTLER'S Poflh. Works, 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JlT is very remarkable that 
while I was writing the laft five lines of my 
former letter to yon, on Wednefday the 2d 
of March 1791, I received the news of the 
death of Mr. John Wefley, who I am in- 
formed, died that morning at his own houfe, 
in- the City-road, Moorfields, in the Eighty- 
eighth year of his age. He had no illnefs, 
but the wheels of the machine being worn 
out, it ftopt of courfe. As I am on the fub- 

jeft 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 279 

jet of methodifrn, I hope you will not deem 
it impertinent, if I devote a few lines to this 
great parent of a numerous feel, whom I 
well knew, and feel a pleafure in fpeaking of 
with Ibme refpe6h 

Several days preceding his interment, 
being laid in his coffin, in his gown and 
band, he was expofed to the view of all who 
camejflUid the public ; and I fuppofe that- 
forty or fifty thoufand perfons had a fight of 
him. But the concourfe of people was fo 
great, that many were glad to get out of the 
crowd without feeing him at all; and al- 
though a number of confcables were prefent, 
yet the pick-pockets contrived to eafe many 
of their purfes, watches, &c", 

To prevent as much as pofiible the dread- 
ful effects of a mob, he was interred on 
Wednelday March the Qth, between five 
and fix o'clock in the morning, in the burial 
ground behind his own chapel in the City- 
road. After which Dr. Whitehead (the 
phyfician) preached his funeral fermon ; but 
Q 4 not- 



280 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

notwith (landing the early hour, many thou- 
fands attended more than the chapel would 
hold, although it is very large. 

As foon as it was known that Mr. Wefley 
was deceafed, a lumber of needy brethren 
deemed it a fair opportunity of profiting by 
it, and each immediately fet his ingenuity to 
work to compofe what he chofe to call a life 
of him ; and for fome weeks fince ftfe fune- 
ral the chapel-yard and its vicinity has exhi- 
bited a truly ludicrous fcene, on every night 
of preaching, owing to the different writers 
and venders of thefe hafty performances 
exerting themfelves to fecure a good iale; one 
bawling out, that his is the right life, a fecond 
with a pious make of the head, declares 
his the real life, a third protefh he has got 
the only genuine account ; and a fourth calls 
them all vile cheats and importers, &c. fb 
that between all thefe competitors, the faints 
are fo divided and perplexed in their opinions, 
that fome decline pur chafing either ; others 
willing ; to try all, and keep that which is 

good, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 28 

good,'* buy of each of thefe refpe&able 
venders of the life and laft account of that 
celebrated character ; while the uninterefted 
pafTenger is apt to form a conclusion that the 
houfe of prayer is again become a den of 
thieves. Thus we fee thofe holy candidates 
for heaven are fo influenced by felf-intereft 
that it 

" Turns meek and fecret fneaking ones 
" To Raw-heads fierce and bloody bones." 

HUDIBRAS. 

I cannot help thinking that Mr. John 
Wefley, the father of the methodifts, was 
one of the moft refpectable enthufiafts that 
ever lived ; as it is generally thought that he 
believed all that he taught others, and lived 
the fame pious exemplary life, that he would 
have his followers praftife. The fale of his 
numerous writings produced nett profits to 
the amount of near TWO THOUSAND 
POUNDS per annum; and the weekly collec- 
tion of the clafles in London and Weftmin- 
fter amounted to a very large fum ; belides 
this, great fums were collected, at the facra- 

ments 



282 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

meats and love-fenfis, for quarterly tickets, 
private and public fubfcriptions, &c. &c. 
In a pamphlet which was publilhed in the 
beginning of this year 1792, by an old mem- 
ber of their fociety, it is aflerted that for 
the laft ten years, the fums collected in 
Great Britain and Ireland, have amounted to 
no lefs than FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND 
POUNDS per annum, Befides the above, many 
private collections are made in all his focieties 
throughout the three kingdoms, fo that Mr. 
Wefley might have amaiTed an immenie for- 
tune, had riches been his objecl, But in- 
flead of accumulating wealth, he expended 
all his own private property : and I have 
been often informed, from good authority, 
that he never denied relief to a poor peribu 
that afked him. To needy tradefmen I have 
known him to give ten or twenty pounds at 
once. In going a few yards from his ftudy 
to the pulpit, he generally gave away an 
handful of half-crowns to poor old people of 
his fociety. He was indeed charitable to an 
extreme, as he often gave to unworthy 

objects, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 283 

objects, nor would he keep money fufficient 
to hold out on his journies. One of his 
friends informs me that he left but ^4. 
i os. behind him : and I have heard him de- 
clare that he would not die worth twenty 
pounds, except his books for fale, which he 
has left to the " general methodift fund, for 
carrying on the work of God, by itinerant 
preachers,'* charged only with a rent of 
eighty-five pounds a year, which he has left 
to the wife and children of his brother 
pharles. 

His learning and great abilities are well 
known. But I cannot help noticing that in 
one of his publications (ftepping out of his 
line) he betrayed extreme weaknefs and cre- 
dulity, though no doubt his intentions were 
good. What I allude to is his " Primitive 
Phyfic, a work certainly of a dangerous ten- 
dency, as the majority of remedies therein 
prefcribed are moft affuredly inefficacious, 
and many of them very dangerou's, if ad- 
miniftred. The confequence of the firft is, 

that 



284 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that while poor ignorant people are trying 
thefe remedies, (befides the very great pro- 
bability of their miftaking the cafe) the dif- 
eafes perhaps become fo inveterate as to refill: 
the power of more efficacious remedies pro- 
perly applied, and with regard to thofe of a 
highly dangerous nature, how ram to truft 
them in the hands of fuch uninformed peo^ 
pie as this book was almoft folely intended 
for, efpecially when fanctioned by the name 
of an author whofe influence impreffed the 
minds of the unfortunate patients with the 
moft powerful conviction. Many fatal effects, 
I fear, have been produced by a blind ad- 
herence to this compilation ; which carries 
with it more the appearance of being the 
production of an ignorant opinionated old 
woman, than of the man of fcience and 
education. One melancholy inftance is frefh 
in my memory ; a much efteemed friend 
having fallen an immediate facrifice to an 
imprudent application of one of thefe re- 
medies. 

A very 



LIFE OF J. LACKlNGTOtf. 28$ 

A very worthy phyfician to whom the 
community is highly indebted for his inde- 
fatigable and fuccefsful exertions in the 
caufe of humanity, publimed fome very 
judicious " Remarks on the Primitive 
Phyfic," which however, for obvious rea- 
fons, were not fo generally noticed as the. 
fubjecl: deferved ; as almoft all the admirers 
of Mr. Wefley's work confifted of his fol- 
lowers, (fufficiently numerous indeed to en- 
fure a very extenfive fale) thefe were too 
bigoted to condefcend to perufe any pro- 
duction tending to enlighten their under- 
ftandings ; and the public at large, not hav- 
ing paid much attention to it, did not con- 
ceive themfelves fo materially interefted in 
the " Remarks," though I am firmly of 
opinion, if they are perufed with that can- 
dour with which they appear to be written, 
they will have a very beneficial tendency in 
guarding the public againft the milchief 
too frequently arifing from the *' Primitive 
Phyfic," and other quack publications, as 

abfurd as they are injurious. 

Permit 



286 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Permit me juft to give yon one fpecimen 
of the author's wonderful abilities, by quoting 
a receipt, which if not an infallible remedy, 
mult at leaft be acknowledged to be a fingu- 
lar one. 

" To cure a windy Cholic." 
" Suck a healthy woman daily ; this (fays 
Mr. Wefley) was tried by my father.*' 

Should you, my dear friend, be defirous 
of perufing a variety of remedies, not equally 
judicious as well as efficacious with thofe of 
Mr. Wefley, you will meet with ample fatis- 
fa&ioti by turning to " Dom Pernety*s Voyage 
to the Falkland I/lands," page 153 to 162. 
quarto edition. 

Some of the receipts there inferted are fo 
truly curious, 1 can fcarce refrain from treat- 
ing you with a fpecimen or two, but being 
at the fame time not very delicate, I muft 
decline inferting them, for like Simpkin, 

" I pity the ladies fo modeft and nice." 

Should 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 287 

Should. you, however, deem it worth the 
trouble of turning to the volume, I am con- 
fident the fubjedt muft excite a fmile at the 
amazing credulity of the writer, as well as 
his folly in expofing fuch wretched tram to 
the public eye, indeed I can hardly perfuade 
myfelf he could be ferious when he wrote 
them. 

The two following receipts I muft give 
you, one being no doubt an effectual remedy 
for a grievous complaint of that ufeful qua- 
druped the horfe, the other at lead equally 
certain for the cure' of one of the moft dan- 
gerous diforders human nature is fubjedt to. 

" To Cure a Foundered Horfe.'* 
" Let him take one or two fpuonfuls of 
common f alt in half a pint of water !" 

u For a malignant Fever." 
" A live tench applied to the feet for 
twelve hours) then buried quietly, or thrown 
down the houfe of office , and the patient wi 1 

foon recover." 

But 



288 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

But as I well know you do not poffefs the 
faith either of a methodift or a papift, to put 
implicit truft in whatever the teachers of 
either choofe to write or fay, I fear left I 
have beftowed on you labour in vain, I 
therefore decline quoting any more of thofe 
extraordinary remedies. 

It was a circumftance peculiarly happy 
for the practitioners of phyfic, though no 
doubt a terrible misfortune to the public, 
that the difference in religious principles of 
thefe two reverend gentlemen proved an 
effectual bar to the union of their medical 
abilities, which appear fo exactly correfpon- 
dent ; had fuch an event taken place, that 
horrid monfter dlfeafe might by this time 
have been banifhed from the earth, and the 
fbns.of ./Efculapius WQuld be doomed to feed 
on their own compofitions or ftarve ! The 
Rev. Dr. Fordycc, in a late publication, 
has alfb given the world a remedy for the 
cramp, as delicate as efficacious. 

But here, I think I fee you fmile at my 
cenfuring Mr. Wefley forjtepping. out of his 

line, 



LIFF OF J. LACKINGTON. 289 

//#, when at the very moment I am com- 
mitting the fame error by obtruding my 
judgment upon the fcience of phyfic. I 
fhall only reply, Many thought I did the 
fame when I commenced bookfeller ; and a 
friend once taught me the adage, (be not 
offended, 'tis the only fcrap of Latin I mall 
give you) " Ne Sutor ultra crepidam" But 
the event has proved it otherwife, and 1 flat- 
ter myfelf every candid and judicious perfon 
capable of judging will think with me on 

the above fubjed. But to refume my 

narrative. 

What a pity that fuch a character as Mr. 
Wefley mould have been a dupe and a rank 
enthufiaft ! A believer in dreams, vifions, 
immediate revelations, miraculous cures, 
witchcraft, and many. 'other ridiculous ab- 
furdities, as appears from many paffages of 
his Journals, to the great difgrace of his 
abilities and learning; which puts me in 
mind of Sir Ifaac Newton's Expofition of 
the Revelations, Milton's Paradife Regained, 
Dr. Johnfon's unmanly Devotions, &c. &c. 
R and 



290 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

and (to compare fmall things with greater) 
J. L.'s turning author. However, we may 
fafely affirm that Mr. Wefley was a good fin- 
cere and honeft one, who denied himfelf many 
things ; and really thought that he disregarded 
the praife and blame of the world, when he 
was more courted, refpe&ed, and followed than 
any man living, and he ruled over a hundred 
and twenty thoufand people with an abfolute 
fway, and the love of power feems to have 
been the main fpring of all his a&ions. I 
am inclined to believe that his death will be 
attended with confequences fomewhat fimi- 
lar to thofe which followed the death of 
Alexander the Great. His fpiritual generals 
will be putting in their pretenfions, and foou 
divide their matter's conquefts. His death 
happened at a time rather critical to the me- 
thod i ft s, as the Swedenborgians, or New 
Jerufatemifts, are gaining ground very faft : 
Many of the^methodifts, both preachers and 
hearers, are already gone over to their party, 
many more will now, undoubtedly, follow ; 
and the death of that great female champion 

of 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 291 

bf methodifm, the Countefs of Huntingdon, 
which has fince happened, will in all proba- 
bility occafion another confiderable defe&ion. 
from that branch of methodifts, and an addi- 
tional reinforcement to the Swedenborgians ; 
a proof of the fondnefs of mankind for no- 
velty, and the marvellous, even in religious 
matters. 

I mall conclude my remarks on the metho- 
difts in my next. 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



R 2 LETTER 



292 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XXIX. 

* More haughty than the reft, the race, 
" Appear with belly gaunt, and famifh'd face : 
" Never was fo deform'd a babe of grace." 

DRYDEN, 
Their fermons 

" Are olios made of conflagration, 

' Of gulphs, of brimftone, and damnation, 

' Eternal torments, furnace, worm, 

" Hell-fire, a whirlwind, and a ftorm ; 

c< With Mammon, Satan, and perdition, - . 

" And Belzebub to help the dim on j 

" Belial, and Lucifer, and all 

" The nicknames which Old Nick we call. 



DEAR FRIEND, 

ALTHOUGH Mr. 

was poffeffed of a very great fhare both of 
natural and acquired abilities, yet I fuppofe 
it fcarcely neceflary to inform you, that this 
is by no means the cafe with his preachers 
in general ; for although there are among!! 
them fome truly fenfible, intelligent men, 
yet the major part are very ignorant and ex- 
tremely illiterate : many of thefe excellent 

fpiritual 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 293 

Ipiritual guides cannot even read a chapter in 
the bible, though containing the deep myfte- 
ries which they have the raflinefs and p-e- 
fumption to pretend to explain. Many others 
cannot write their own names. But fo great 
is the ignorance of Mr. Wefley's people in 
genera], that they often negleft the more 
rational and fenfible of their preachers, and 
are better pleafed with fuch as are even defti-? 
tute of common fenfe ; really believing that 
the incoherent nonfenfe which they from 
time to time pour forth, is dictated by the 
Holy Spirit ; for which feveral reafons may 
be affigned. 

It is always obfervable, that the more ig-? 
norant people are, the more confidence they 
poffefs. This confidence, or impudence, paffes 
with the vulgar, as a mark of their being in. 
the right; and the more the ignorance of 
the preachers is difcovered, the more are they 
brought down to their own ftandard. Again, 
the more ignorant preachers having very con- 
traded ideas of real religion and manly vir- 
tue, of courfe fupply the want of it with a 
R 3. ridiculous. 



294 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ridiculous fufs about trifles, which paries 
with the ignorant for a more fan&ified de- 
portment, and hence arifes much of the 
mifchief which has been fo juftly charged on 
the methodifts. For by making the path to 
heaven fo very narrow, and befet with ten 
thoufand bugbears, many defpairing to be 
ever able to walk in it, have thrown off all 
religion and morality, and funk into the 
abyfs of vice and wickednefs. Others have 
their tempers fo foured as to become loft to 
all the tender connexions of hufband, wife, 
father, child, &c. really believing that they 
are literally to hate father, mother, &c. for 
Chrift's fake. Many have in a fit of defpon- 
dency put a period to their exigence, it hav- 
ing become a burthen too intolerable to be 
borne. Some have been fo infatuated with 
the idea of failing to mortify the flem, that 
their ftricl: perfeverence in it has been pro- 
ductive of the moft ferious confequences : 
Two iuftances of which lately occurred in 
one family, in the City Road The miftrefs 
was deprived of her fenfes, and the rnaid 

literally 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 295 

literally failed herfelf to death ; and Bedlam 
and private mad-houfes now contain many, 
very many melancholy inftances of the dread- 
ful effects of religious defpondency ; not to 
mention the hundreds that have died from 
time to time in fuch places, and the nu- 
merous fuicides which have been traced to 
the fame fource. 

Mr. Berftley fays, in his letter to the 
members of the houfe of commons, dated 
May i2th, 1791, that although he had a 
fortune of one thoufand pounds, and natu- 
rally liked good living, yet that he lived on 
horfe and afs flefh, barley bread, (linking 
butter, &c. and when he found that his eat- 
ing fuch things gave offence to his neigh- 
bours, he left off eating afs flefh, and only 
lived on vegetables, as the common fort of 
food by their dearnefs hurt his conicience. 

A few years (luce I faw in a field not feven 

miles from China-hall, a man toffing up 

his bible in the air. This he often repeated, 

and raved at a flrange rate. Amongft other 

R 4 thing?, 



296 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

things, (pointing to a building at fome 
diftance) "That (faid he) is the devil's 
houfe, and it fhall not ftand three days 
longer!" On the third day after this I faw 
with furprize an account in one of the pub- 
lic papers of that very building having been 
fet on fire, and burnt to the ground, and 
thus the poor itinerant difciples of Thefpis 
loft the whole of their wardrobe and fcenery. 

This religious maniac foon after preached 
very often in Smithfield and Moorfields ; but 
he did not wholly depend on the operations 
of the Holy Spirit, as at laft he feldom began 
to preach until he was nearly drunk, or 
filled with another kind of Ipirit, and then 
he was " a very powerful preacher indeed." 
But the good man happening feveral times 
to exert himfelf rather too much, had nearly 
tumbled headlong out of his portable pulpit; 
thefe accidents the mob uncharitably afcribed 
to the liquor that he had drank, and with 
iTiul, ftones, dead cats, &c. drove him ofF 
every time he came, until at laft our preacher 
took his leave of them with faying " that 

he 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 297 

he perceived it was in vain to attempt their 
converfion, as he faw that God had given 
them over to the hardnefs of their hearts.'^ 

But although this holy man deferted 
them, yet other fpiritual knights-errant were 
not wanting, fo that a little time before the 
heaps of ftones which lay for years in Moor- 
fields were removed for the purpofe of build7 
ing on the fpot, I have feen five or fix in a 
day preaching their initiation fermons from 
thofe elevated fituations, until they could 
collect a fufficient fum of money to purchafe 
pulpits. Some of thefe excellent preachers 
received the whole of their divine education 
and took up their degrees in Moorfields, and 
in due time, after having given ample and 
fatisfa<tory proofs of being properly quali- 
fied, have been admitted to profefforfhips in 
the noble College fituated on the fouth fide 
of thofe fields, generally known by the name 
of Bed/em. You muft know, Sir, that many 
of the lazy part of the community fet up 
fhlls in Moorfields to buy and fell apples, 
old iron, &c. feveral of thefe having heard 

fuch 



298 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

fuch edifying difcourfes frequently repeated 
as they fat at their (tails, and obferving the 
fuccefs which thofe kind of preachers met 
with, boldly refolved to make trial of their 
fpiritual gifts on the heaps of ftones, and 
have now totally abandoned their flails, and 
are gone forth as embafTadors of heaven, 
though without being furnifhed with any 
diplomas as fuch. One of thefe who cannot 
read, lately informed me that he had quit- 
ted all temporal concerns for the good of 
poor ignorant flnners. However after all, 
*' there is (poffibly) a pleafure in being mad, 
which none but madmen know." The (ab- 
ject of methodifm is fo fertile a one, that 
were I diipofed to enlarge thereon, my cor- 
refpondence would be extended to a very 
confiderable length ; but inftead ofpurfuing 
it, I think it better to apologize for having 
ib long digrefled from the main fubjecT: of 
my narrative, 

But before I take my leave of the fubjecl, 
I will in few words inform you how the 
preachers were governed and fupported. 

Mr. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 299 

Mr. Wefley every year ordered the major 
part of his travelling preachers in great 
Britain and Ireland, which were upwards of 
two hundred in number, to meet together, 
one year at London, the next at Briflol, and 
the following at Manchefter; this meeting 
he called a conference. At thofe confer- 
ences, the bufinefs of the whole fociety was 
tranfa&ed, new preachers admitted, and fome 
turned off, or filenced ; complaints heard, 
differences adjufted, &c. Mr. Weiley having 
divided Great Britain into circuits, at thofe 
Conferences, he appointed the preachers to 
every circuit for the following year, and as 
he well knew the general want of abilities 
among his preachers, he limited their time 
pf preaching in one circuit to a year, and fo 
in fome meafure, made up the want of abi- 
lities by variety, moft of thofe circuits had 
three or four preachers every year, and in 
many country places, they had but one 
fermon a week from the travelling preachers, 
fo that each preacher preached about twelve 
fermons in the year, (fometimes it may be 

fwenty) 



3 oo LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

twenty) at each place. In every circuit one 
of the preachers was called the affiftant ; to 
him the various contributions were paid, and 
of him might be had any of Mr. Wefley's 
publications. He alfo admitted new mem- 
bers, or turned out any who were judged 
unworthy of bearing the high appellation of 
, amethodift. 

Each itinerant preacher had a horfe found 
him, which, with himfelf, is maintained by 
fome brother or fitter wherever they go, as 
the preachers do not put up at any inn, and 
yet they have as regular flages to call at as 
the coaches have, they having made converts 
at convenient diftances in moil parts of 
Great Britain and Ireland. 

Each travelling preacher was then allowed 
twelve pounds a year, to find himfelf cloaths, 
pay turnpikes, &c. befides what they could 
get privately out of the old women's pockets. 
But befides thofe circuit-preachers, there 
" are in the year 1790, in Europe and Ame- 
rica, thirteen or fourteen hundred," of local 

holders- 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 301 

holdersforth, who do not preach out of their 
own neighbourhood, and thofe in general 
are the moft ignorant of all. 

Many of the circuit-preachers only travel 
until they can marry a rich widow, or fome 
ignorant young convert with money, which 
has often been the caufe of great unhappi- 
nefs, in many refpe&able families. The 
following poetical defcription of the metho- 
dift preachers, is fo much to my purpofe, 
that I muft infert it : 

" Every mechanic will commence 
" Orator, without mood or tenfe ; 
" Pudding v& pudding ftill they know, 
" Whether it has a plum or no; 
" So, tho' the preacher have no (kill, 
" A/frmon is z/trmtrt ftill. 

" The Bricklay'r throws his trowel by, 
" And now builds manjiom in thefy ; 
" The Cobler, touch'd with holy pride, 
tf Flings his ddjboei and loft afide, 
f And now devoutly fets about 
' Cobbling of fouls, that ne'er wear out ; 
" The Baker now a preacher grown, 
" Finds man li--jes not by bread alone, 
" And now his cuftomers he feeds 
" With fray r: i \\iihfermgns, groans, and creeds ; 

The 



302 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTONi 

' The Tinman, mov'd by warmth within^ 

" Hammers the go/pel }v& like //,- 

" Weavers infplr'd, \hzvcjhuttles leave, 

' Sermons and flimfy hymns to weave ; 

' Barbers unreap'ci will leave the chin, 

" To trim, and (have the man 'within ,* 

" The Waterman forgets bis wherry, 

" And opens a celeft'wl ferry ; 

" The Brewer, bit by frenzy's grub, 

' The majhmg for the preaching tub 

* f Refigns, thofe waters to explore, 

' Which if you drink, you thiril no more j 

The Gard'ner, weary of his trade, 

" Tir'd of the mattock and the fpade, 

" Chang'd to Apoths in a trice, 

*' Waters the plants of patadife ; 

" The Fijhermen no longer fet 

" For^ the mefhes of their net, 

" But catch, like Peter, men of fen, 

f For catching is to take them in" 

I now take a final leave of methodifm, 
with afluring you, that in giving a general 
idea of the tenets and practices of a numerous 
fet who have excited much public attention, 
I have invariably had in view to " fpeak of 
them as they are, nothing to extenuate, nor 
fet down aught in malice." Should you 
wifti to fee the errors of the methodifts par- 
ticularly 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 303 

ticularly exppfed, you may read Bifliop 
Lavington's " Enthufiafm of the methodifts 
and baptifts compared." It is efteemed a very 
good work, it will amufe as well as inftruft 
you. In my next, I intended to have re- 
lumed the account of my own affairs ; but 
an extraordinary publication, will tempt me 
to add, one letter more on the methodifts. 



am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



3 o4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XXX. 

*' Religion, faireft maid on earth, 

" As meek as good, who drew her breath 

" From thebleft union when in heaven-, 

" Pleafure was bride to virtue given ; 

" Religion ever pleas'd to pray, 

" Poflefs'd the precious gift one day; 

" Hypocrify of cunning born, 

" Crept in and ftole it ere the morn." 

CHURCHILL. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

ALTHOUGH I was many 
years in connexion with Mr. Wefley's peo- 
ple, it feems, according to a pamphlet pub- 
lifhed a few months after the firft edition of 
my Memoirs, that I was but fuperficially ac- 
quainted with Mr. Wefley and his preachers. 
The pamphlet is entitled, " A Letter to the 
Rev. T. Coke, L.L.D. and Mr. H. Moore." 
To which is added, " An Appeal and Re- 
monftrance to the People called Methodifts, 
by an old Member of the Society." This old 
member informs us, that he has been ac- 
quainted 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 305 

quainted with the methodifts twenty-eight 
years, and if their preachers are but half as 
had as he has djrawn them, they are a de- 
teftable fet of fly deceiving villains. The 
letter was occafioned by ; Dr. Coke -and Mr. 
Moore's propofals for publishing Mr. Wefley's 
Life, in oppofition to that advertifed (under 
the fandYion of the executors) to be written 
by Dr. Whitehead. 

And we are informed that after Mr. 
Welley's manufcripts and private papers had 
been given up to Dr. Whitehead, and the 
Doctor appointed to write his Life, and 
this Life announced to the public by the 
executors as the only authentic " work, on 
a mifunderftanding taking place between 
Dr. Whitehead and the preachers, be- 
canfe the. Doctor would not fubmit his 
work to be infpected, altered, &c. and alfo 
becaufe the Doctor would not content to 
give to the preachers at the conference, 
nearly the whole of the profits derived from, 
his labours, they then fent a circular let- 
S ter 




3o6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ter figned by nine of their head preachers, to 
all their focieties, and advife them to return 
the fablcriptiom that they had taken for Dofior 
Whitehead's Life of Mr. We/ley, and to procure 
all the fubfcriptiom In their power for another 
Life of Mr. IVeJley, to be written by Dr. 
Coke and Mr. Moore. 

The following quotations I think will 
pleafe you, pag 8, &c. " That Mr. Wefley 
was a great man is an undeniable truth ; 
that is comparitively : Great amongft little 
people." 

" Nothing can exhibit his character as an am- 
birious man, more than the following anecdote, 
which I can give from the moft authentic autho- 
rity. When a boy he was in the harter-Houfe 
fchool ; the Rev. A. Tooke, the author of the 
Pantheon, was then mafter, and obferving that his 
pupil, who was remarkably forward in his ftudies, 
yet he conftantly affociated with the inferior 
claire*,' and it was his cuftom to be furrounded 
by a number of the little boys, haranguing them. 
Mr. Tooke, once accidentally broke irt upon him 
when in the middle of an oration, and interrupted 
him, by defiring him to follow him to the parlour. 
Mr. Wefley, offended by being thus abruptly de- 
prived 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 307 

prived of an opportunity of difplaying his faperior 
abilities, obeyed his matter very relu&antly. 
When they had got into the parlour Mr. Tooke 
faid to him : " John, I wonder that you who are 
fo much above the lower forms mould conftantly 
aflbciate with them, for you mould now confider 
yourfelf as a man, and affecl the company of the 
bigger boys, who are your equals.'* Our hero, 
who could hardly ftifle his refentment whilfl his 
mailer fpoke, boldly replied : " Better to rule in 
hell, thanferve in heaven." 

" Mr. Tooke difmified his pupil with this; re- 
markable obfervation to an afliftant mafter. 
That boy though defigned for the church will 
never get a living in it : for his ambitious foul 
will never acknowledge a fuperior, or be confined 
to a parifh. 

" That he was fuperior to the prejudices he 
inculcated to his followers, and with what con- 
tempt he fometimes treated the lay-preachers, the 
following will fhew. Being at fupper one Sunday 
night, (a fhort time before his death) with feveral 
of the preachers, one of them obferved that 
whenever Mr. Weflcy travelled, he was always 
invited to the houfes of the neighbouring nobi- 
lity and gentry ; but when the preachers travel- 
led, no notice was taken of them, which he could 
not account for. Mr. Wefley replied, "It was 
S 2 the 



3 o8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

the way of the world to court the great, but I fay, 
love me love. my dog!" enjoying his triumph with 
a hearty laugh at their expence." 

After this old member's letter comes his 
Appeal and Remonftrance to the Methodifts, 
which, as coming from an old methodifr, 
contains fome very extraordinary aflertions 
and facts, and letters more extraordinary. I 
fhall give you fome extracts from it in page 
28. "Faith is the ground-work of (metho- 
dift) evidence it precludes the neceffity of 
every virtue it is to be feared it has fent 
more of its votaries to Bedlam than to hea- 
ven is to wife men a {tumbling block, an 
unintelligible jargon of myftical nonfenfe, 
\vhich common fenfe and common honefty 



Page 30, &c. " Ithasbeen computed thatthe con- 
tributions raifed among the members cf the diffe- 
rent focieties in Great-Britain and Ireland for thefe 
lafl ten years, has amounted to no lefs than FOUR 
HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS per an- 
num. It has been further proved that about one 
eighth part of this fum is appropriated to the pur- 

pofes 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 309 

pofes for which it was raifed, and the remainder 
is difpofed of at the difcretion of the conference, 
the preachers, and the ftewards. This calculation 
does not include the enormous fums known to be 
raifed privately by the influence of the preachers 
in their refpeftive circuits, under the various pre- 
tenfions of diftrefs, &c. 

" However, I do not pretend to vouch for trie 
accuracy of this calculation, yet I think it by no 
means exaggerated. What has come within my 
own knowledge I can affert with confidence, and 
I challenge any one to refute- it. 

" Of King [-wood School, I can fpeak with cer- 
tainty : for this foundation, many thoufands have 
been raifed which never were, and I believe 
never were intended to be applied to that charity. 
During eight years that I was at Kingfwood, it 
not only fupported itfelf, but produced a con- 
fiderable annual furplus. 

" One of the matters of King's School, being 
deficient in his accounts, he was judged an im- 
proper perfon to enjoy any place of truft. and 
was accordingly difmifled, and appointed to a 
circuit as a travelling preacher but any will do 
for that, who has but impudence and hypMnJy 
no matter whether he pofleffes a grain of honcfty. 
Now if this was the cafe with refpeft to Kingf- 
S 3 wood, 



3 io LIFE OF J. JLACKINGTON. 

wood, may we not conclude that the fame ini- 
quitous principle pervaded the adminiftration of 
the finances in all the different departments ? 



33> &c. " O how long, ye Jheep> will ye 
be the prey of wolves who fleece and devour you 
at pleafure ! and, yzfoois, be the dupes of knavery 
and hypocrtfy ? 

" Open your eyes, and behold the villain and 
hypocrite unmafked, in inftances of the moft fla- 
gitious crimes, and deeds of the blackeft dye ! 
perpetrated by wretches, whom you tamely fuffer 
to devour your fubftance, and whom you cheer- 
fully contribute to fupport in idlenefs and lux- 
ury, which brings into contempt the gofpel, and 
\vhofe example has done more harm to religion, 
than that of the moft abandoned and profligate 
open linner : admitting at the fame time that 
there may be, and I hope there are, fome honeft 
and fincere men amongft them, 

" To begin then with the late Rev. J. Wefley. 
As the founder and head, he muft be confidered 
as the primum mobile, or firft mover of this mighty 
machine of hypocrify, fraud, and villainy ! Yet 
\vere his motives originally laudable in their in- 
tention, virtuous in their objeft, but unhappy in 
their confequences. This I will endeavour to 
make appear, by an impartial review of his life, 
character, and conduft. I flatter myfelf that I 
am in fome meafure qualified, being totally di- 

vefted 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 311 

vefted of prejudice, and having no intereft either 
in reprefenting him as zfaint or a devil. 

" From what I have obfervcd during near 
twenty-eight years that I have known him, I 
have uniformly found him ambitious, imperi- 
ous, and pofitive even to obftinacy. His learn- 
ing and knowledge various and general, but fu- 
perficial; his judgment too hafty and decifive to 
be always juft his penetration acute; yet was 
he conftantly the dupe to his credulity and his 
unaccountable and univerfalgood opinion of man- 
kind. Humane, generous, andjuft. In his private 
opinions liberal to a degree inconfiftent with ftrift 
Chriftianity ; in his public declarations rigid al- 
moft to intolerance. From this obfervation of 
the inconfiftency of his private opinions and pub- 
lic declarations, I have often been inclined to 
doubt his fmcerity, even in the profeffion of the 
Chriftian faith. In his temper impetuous, and 
impatient of contradi&ion ; but in his heart, a 
flranger to malice or refentment ; incapable of 
particular attachment to any individual; he knew 
no ties of blood or claims of kindred ; never vio- 
lently or durably affecled by grief, forrow or any 
of the paflions to which humanity is fubjeft , fuf- 
ceptible of the grofleft flattery, and the moft ful- 
fome panegyric was conftantly accepted and re- 
warded. In his views and expectations, fanguin^ 
and unbounded, but though often difappoimed, 
S 4 Dever 



312 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

never dejeled ; of his benevolence an J charity 
much has been faid ; but it is to be obferved, bene-? 
volence is but a paffive virtue, and his charity 
was no more than bribery ; he knew no other ufe 
of money but to give it away, and he found out 
that an hundred pounds would go farther in half 
crowns than in pounds; fo that his charity was 
little more than parade, as he hardly ever eflen- 
tially relieved an obje6l of diftrefs : in fa6t his cha- 
rity was no more than putting his money to in- 
tereft, as the example excited his followers to the 
practice of the fame virtue, and doubled their fub- 
fcriptions and contributions. In his conftitution 
warm, and confequently amorous ; in his manner 
of living luxurious and ftrictly epicurean and fond 
of difhes highly relifhed, and fond of drinking 
the richeft wines, in which he indulged often, but 
never to excefs. He was indebted more to his 
commanding, pofitive, and authoritative manner, 
than to any intrinfically iuperior abilities. 

" Having thus given the outlines of his cha-. 
rafter, I fhall only oblerve, that he appears to, 
have been more a philofopher than a chriftian : 
and fhall then proceed to fome anecdotes and, 
circumftances which will corroborate my afler- 
tions, and juftify my conclufion. 

As the work of God, as it is called, was the 
fphere of aclion in which he was more particularly 

and 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 313 

and confpicuoufly engaged, and as I have ven- 
tured to queftion the fincerity of, his profefiions, 
it is proper that I mould ftate my reafons for fo 
doing. Firft then of converfion : in the metho- 
dijlical fenfe of the word, for in the true fenfe, I 
apprehend to be neither more or lefs, than for- 
faking vice and praftifing virtue; but however, 
the methodiftical fenfe imports quite a different 
thing, and it is in ^hat fenfe we mall view it. I 
have made it an invariable obfervation, that Mr. 
Wefley, although he was often in the company of 
fenfible men, who were capable of forming an 
opinion, and prefumed to judge for themfelves by 
the light of nature, the evidence of the fenfes, and 
the aid of reafon and philofophy ; but of fuch, 
he never attempted the converfion. In his own 
family and amongft his relations, he never 
attempted, or if he did attempt, he never fuc- 
ceeded : except now and then with a female, in 
whom he found a heart fufceptible of any impref- 
fion he pleafed to give. It is remarkable, that 
even the children of Mr. C. W. were never con- 
verted becaufe they, and moft of his relations, 
pofleffed fenfe enough to difcover hypocrify, and 
honefty enough to reject the advantage they might 
have derived from affuming it. But what is ftill 
more extraordinary, is, that out of fo many 
hundred, who have been educated at Kingfwood, 
in the moft rigid difcipline of methodifm, hardly 
$ny have embraced their tenets, or become 

members 



3 i4 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

members of the fociety. The reafon is pretty 
obvious, they.were taught too much to imbibe the 
ridiculous prejudices the founder wifhed to be 
inftilled into their minds : philofophy and metho- 
difm, are utterly incompatible. When the human 
mind is informed by the ftudy of philofophy, it 
expands itfelf to the contemplation of things* 

" It is true indeed, the work was fometimes at- 
tended with power among the children at Xing/- 
wood. Conversions were frequent ; but never dura- 
ble. I myfelf was converted fome ten or a dozen 
times; but unluckily, my clafs leader was detected 
in having ftolen a pair of filver buckles. This 
was a dreadful ftroke to the work, and a glorious 
triumph to the -wicked one. The whole fabric of 
faith, grace, and all its concomitant vices, as 
hypocrify, &c. &c. experienced a total overthrow ! 
The ferious boys, as they were called by way of 
eminence, fell into the utmoft contempt, and 
ever after, the leader of a clafs was ftiled Captain 
of the Gang : a con-vert and a thief, were fynoni- 
mous terms. 

" A general converfion among the boys, was 
once effected, by the late excellent Mr. Fletcher: 
one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately 
refitted the influence of the Holy Spirit; for 
which he was feverely flogged, which did not fail 
of the defired eflfecl;, and imprefled proper notions 

of 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 3x5 

of religion on his mind. Unhappily thefe opera- 
tions of the Spirit, though violent, were but of 
fhort duration. 

" As the converfion of men and women, is a 
more ferious concern than that of children, I will 
defcribe one, to which I was an eye witnefs 
among the poor Colliers at Kingfwood. One 
of thofe prefumptuous and impious fanatical 
wretches, who afiume the character of minifters 
of God, and take upon them in his moft holy 
name, to denounce his curfes and vengeance 
againft tfeofe who are far lefs guilty than thetn- 
felves : a fellow of this defcription, of the name 
of Sander/on, preaching to a congregation of igno- 
rant, but harmlefs people ; this fellow, took 
upon himfelf in the name of God, to condemn 
them all to eternal damnation, painting their 
deplorable ftate in the moft dreadful colours : 
fome of his hearers were foon evidently affe&ed 
by this difcourfe, which he took care to improve, 
and taking the advantage of the kindling fpark, 
addrefled himfelf more particularly to them, whom 
he foon " made roar for the diftjuietude of their 
fouls." The whole congregation were quickly 
affecled in the like manner, one and all exclaimed 
" What (hall I do to be faved ? Oh! I'm 
damned! I'm damned! I'm damned to all eter- 
nity! What (hall I do ? Oh! Oh! Oh! 
Our performer obferving to what a ftate 

he 



316 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

he had reduced his audience, redoubled his 
threats of divine wrath and vengeance, and with 
a voice terrible as thunder, demanded, " Is there 
any backfliders in the prefence of God ?" A dead 
and folemn patife enfued till he exclaimed 
" Here is an old grey-headed finner:" at the 
fame time ftriking with his hand violently on the* 
bald pate of an honeft old man who fat under the 
defk ; the poor man gave a deep groan ; whether 
from conviclion, or from the pain of the blow, I 
know not, for it was far from being gentle. The 
farce was not yet concluded : when they were 
ftrongly conmdfed with thefe convictions, he fell 
down upon his knees, and with the greateft fer- 
vency, accompanied with abundance of tears, he 
intreated the Lord' in mighty prayer, to have 
compaffion on the poor defponding finners whom 
he had brought to a proper fenfe of their danger : 
the prayer continued about ten minutes, accom- 
panied by the fighs and groans of the converted and 
alarmed finners, in concert making a moft divine 
harmony : when fuddenly flatting up, he pre- 
tended to have received a gracious anfwer to his 
prayer, and with* a joyful and fmiling counte- 
nance, pointing towards the window, exclaimed : 
Behold the Lamb ! Where ! Where ! Where ! 
was the cry of every contrite and returning finner, 
(and they were all of that defcription) There! 
(continued the preacher, extending his arms 
towards the window where he pretended firft to 

have 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 317 

have efpied the Lamb.) In Heaven ! In Colo ! 
making interceffion for your fins ! And I have his 
authority to proclaim unto you " your fins are 
forgiven depart in peace." O, my deareft bre- 
thren, how fweet is the found of thofe extatic 
words. " Behold the lamb of God, who taketh 
away the fins of the world!" But could you but 
feel the peculiar energy, the divine force, the 
rapturous and cheering import of the original, 
your mouths would be filled with praife, and your 
hearts with divine joy, holy exultation, and un- 
fpeakable gratitude. Only mark the found of the 
words, even that will convey an inexpreflible 
pleafure to your fouls, " Head Hangus Dei I Ki 
dollit pekkaltus Monday /" The fchool-boys (who 
were feated in a pew detached from the congre- 
gation on account of their prophane and contemp- 
tuous behaviour during fervice) immediately burfl 
into a loud laugh, on one of the congregation 
faying, " O the bleffed man ! We lhall fee him 
again on MONDAY." 

In fome pages following we have an ac- 
count of the methodift preacher's firft con- 
verting his benefactor's daughter, and then 
debauching her ; alfo of a preacher at Be- 
verly, in Yorklhire, that collected fifteen 
pounds for a poor man in great diftrefs, and 

gave 



3 t8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 
gave him only fifteen {hillings, referving to 
hi mfelf fourteen pounds five (hillings for the 
trouble of collecting it, with which, and 
twenty pounds more he was entrufted with, 
he decamped the next day, to the aftonim- 
ment of the fimple on whom he had impofed. 

I wifh the author as he propofes may foon 
give us a more particular account of the me- 
thodifts, preachers, and people, and alfo of 
fome of Mr. Wefley's private opinions, &c. 

This pamphlet concludes with very cu- 
rious letters written by Mr. J. Wefley, and 
he informs us in a note that the publifher has 
his addrefs in order to direct any perfon to 
the author where they may fee the original 
letters. I here give you the whole of thefe 
extraordinary letters. 

Page 50, &c. 

" DEAR SIR, 

FOR your obliging letter which 
I received this morning, I return you thanks. 

" Our opinions for the moft part perfectly 
coincide refpecling thfi {lability of the connexion, 

after 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf. 319 

after my head is laid in the duft. This, however, 
is a fubjeft, about which I am not fo anxious as 
you feem to imagine; on the contrary, it is a 
matter of the utmoft indifference to me ; as I 
have long forefeen that a divifion muft neceflarily 
enfue, from caufes fo various, unavoidable and 
certain, that I have long fince given over all 
thoughts and hopes of fettling it on a permanent 
foundation. You do not feem to be aware of the 
mod effective caufe that will bring about a divi- 
fion. You apprehend the mofl ferious confe- 
quences from a ftruggle between the preachers 
for power and pre-eminence, and there being 
none among them of fufficient authority or abili- 
ties to fupport the dignity, or command the ref- 
fpecl: and exact the implicit obedience which is fo 
neceffary to uphold our conftitution on its prefent 
principles. This is one thing that will operate 
very powerfully againft unity in the connexion, 
and is, perhaps, what I might poffibly have pre- 
vented, had not a ftill greater difficulty arifen in 
my mind : I have often wifhed for fome perfon 
of abilities to fucceed me as the head of the church 
I have with fuch indefatigable pains, and aftonifh- 
ing fuccefs eftablifhed; but convinced that none 
but very fuperior abilities would be equal to the 
undertaking, was I to adopt a fucceflbr o/jhis 
defcription, I fear he might gain fo much influ- 
ence among the people, as to ufurp a (hare, if 
not the whole of that abfolute and uncontrolable 

power 



320 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

power, which I have hitherto, and am determined 
I will maintain fo long as I live : never will I 
bear a rival near my throne. You no doubt, fee 
the policy of continually changing the preachers 
from one circuit to another at fhort periods: for 
Ihould any of them become popular with their 
different congregations, and infinuate themfelves 
into the favour of their hearers, they might poffibly 
obtain fuch influence, as to eftablifh themfelves in- 
depe'nderitly of me, and the general connexion. 
Befides the novelty of the continual change, 
excites curiofity, and is the more neceflary, as 
few of our preachers have abilities to render them- 
felves in any degree tolerable, any longer 'than 
they are new. 

The principal caufe which will inevitably effect 
a diminution and divifion in the connexion after 
my death, will be the failure of fubfcriptions and 
contributions towards the fupport of the caufe, 
for money is as much the finews of religious, as of 
military power. If it is with the greateft difficulty 
that even I can keep them together, for want of 
this very neceffary article, I think no one elfe 
can. Another caufe, which with others will 
effeft the divifion, is the difputes and contentions 
that will arife between the preachers and the par- 
ties that will efpoufe their feveral caufes, by which 
means much truth will be brought to light, which 
will reflecl: fo much to their difadvantage, that the 

eyes 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 321 

eyes of the people will be opened to fee their 
motives and principles, nor will they any longer 
contribute to their fupport. when they find all 
their pretenfions to fanclity and love are founded 
on motives of intereft and ambition. The con- 
fequence of which will be, a few of the moft po- 
pular will eftablifh themfelves in the refpe&ive 
places where they have gained fufficient influence 
over the minds of the people ; the reft muft 
revert to their original humble callings. But this 
no way concerns me : I have attained the object 
of my views, by eftablifhing a name that will not 
foon perifh from the face of the earth ; I have 
founded a fet which will boaft my name, long 
after my difcipline and doctrines are forgotten. 

" My character and reputation for fanftity is 
now beyond the reach of calumny ; nor will any 
thing that may hereafter come to light, or be 
faid concerning me, to my prejudice, however 
true, gain credit. 

" My unfoil'd name, th' aufterenefs of my life, 
Will vouch againft it, 
And fo the accufation overweigh, 
That it will ftifle in its own report, 
And fmell of calumny." 

Another caufe that will operate more power- 
fully and effe&ually than any of the preceding, 
is the rays of philofophy which begins now to 
pervade all ranks, rapidly difpelling the mifts of 
T ignorance, 



322 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ignorance, which has been long in a great degree 
the mother of devotion, of flavifn prejudice, and 
the enthufiaftic bigotry of religious opinions : the 
decline of the papal power is owing to the fame 
irrefiftible caufe, nor can it be fuppofed that 
methodifm can (land its ground, when brought to 
the teft of truth, reafon, and philofophy. 

I am, &c. 

I. W." 

City Road, Thurfday Morn. 

.Our Author informs us that the following 
was written to a very amiable and accomp- 
lifhed lady, fome years ago* The lady was 
about three and twenty years of age. 

" MADAM, 

" IT is with the utmoft diffidence I 
prefume to addrefs fuperior excellence : em- 
boldened by a violent, yet virtuous paffion, 
kindled by the irrefiftible rays, and encouraged 
by the fweetly attractive force, of tranfcendent 
beauty, the elegant fimplicity of your manners, 
the fafcinating melody of your voice, and above 
all, the inexpreflible fire of an eye, that the extra- 
vagance of the Mufes has given to the goddefs 
of love : but which Nature has beftowed on you 
alone. 

" They fparkle with the right Promethean fire !" 

" Believe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 323 

" Believe me, my dear Madam, this is not the 
language of romance ; but the genuine exuberant 
effufions of an enraptured foul. The impreffion 
of your charms was no lefs inftantaneous than 
irrefiftible : when firft I faw you, fo forcibly was 
I ftruck with admiration and love of your divine 
perfections, that my foul was filled with fenfations 
fo wild and extravagant, yet delightful and pure ! 
But I will not indulge in declaring what are my 
real fentiments, left I Ihould incur a fufpicion of 
flattery. Your mind, fuperior to fulfome pane- 
gyric, unfufceptible of the incenfe of affefted adu- 
lation, would, with juft indignation, fpurn at thofe 
impertinent compliments, which are commonly 
offered with a view to impofe upon the vanity and 
credulity of the weaker part of your fex: I will 
not attempt it ; but confine myfelf to the dictates 
of fmcerity and truth, nor mail a compliment 
efcape my pen, that is not the fentiment of a de- 
voted heart. 

" As beauty has no pofitive criterion, and 
fancy alone directs the judgment and influences 
the choice, we find different people fee it in 
various lights, forms, and colours, I may there- 
fore, without a fufpicion of flattery declare, that 
in my eye you are the molt agreeable object, 
and moft perfect work of created nature : nor 
does your mind feem to partake lefs of the divi- 
nity than your perfon. 

T 2 "I view 



324 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" I view thee over with a lover's eye ; 
No fault haft thou, or I no fault can fpy." 

" The reafon I did not before declare myfelf, was 
the profound and refpeftful diltance I thought it 
became me to obferve, from a confcious fenfe of 
my own comparative unworthinefs to approach, 
much lefs to hope for favour from, the quint- 
eflence of all female perfection. Forgive me, my 
dear Eliza, and compaflionate a heart too deeply 
imprefled with your divine image, ever to be 
erafed by time, nor can any power, but the cold 
hand of death, ever obliterate from my mind the 
fond imagination and fweet remembrance of 
Eliza's charms ! Nor can even death itfelf divide 
the union that fubfifts between kindred fouls. 

"' Yefterday, my dear Eliza, the charms of 
your converfation detained me too late to meet 
the penitents, as I had promifed to do ; but 

" With thee converfing, I forget 

All times, all feafons, and their change." 

" I hope however, the difappointment of my 
company did not deprive them of a blefling. 

" This being my birth-day, reflexions on the 
revolution of years and the fhortnefs of life, na- 
turally intrude on my mind. I am now eighty-one 
years of age, and I thank God I enjoy the fame 
vigor of conftitution I pofTeffed at twenty-one f 

None 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 325 

None of the infirmities that ufually accompany 
years, either corporal or mental; and I think it 
not impoflible that I may fulfil my hundred years, 
the refidue of which fhall be devoted to love 
and Eliza. 

I. W." 

I fent a perfon to the author of the above 
pamphlet, to deiire him to give me a fight 
of the original of the preceding letters ; but 
he returned for anfwer, that he ha4 Cent them 
back to the perfons to whom they were 
written. 



I am, 

\ 

Dear Friend, 

Yours. 



T 3 LETTER 



3:6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XXXI. 

Paffion, 'tis true, may hurry us along ; 
Sometimes the juft may deviate into wrong." 

VOLTAIRE by Franklin, 



DEAR FRIEND, 

JVJ.Y new wife's attachment 
to books was a very fortunate circumflance 
for us both, not only as it was a perpetual 
fource of rational amufement, but alfo as it 
tended to promote my trade : her extreme 
love for books made her delight to be in the 
mop, fo that me foon became perfectly 
acquainted with every part of it, and (as my 
{lock Increafed) with other rooms where I 
kept books, and could readily get any article 
that was afked for. Accordingly, when I was 
out on bufmefs, my (hop was well attended. 
This conftant attention, and good ufage, pro- 
cured me many cuftomers ; and I foon per- 
ceived that I could fell double and treble the 
quantity of books if I had a larger flock. But 

how 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 327 

how to enlarge it, I knew not, except by 
(low degrees, as my profits fhould enable me; 
for as I was almoft a ftranger in London, I 
had but few acquaintances, and thefe few 
were not of the opulent fort. I alfo faw that 
the town abounded with cheats, fwindlers, 
&c. who obtained money and other property, 
under falfe pretences, of which the credulous 
were defrauded, which often prevented me 
from endeavouring to borrow, left I mould 
be fufpected of having the fame bad defigns. 

I was feveral times ib hard put to it, for 
cam to purchafe parcels of books which were 
offered to me, that I more than once pawned 
my watch, and a fuit of cloaths, and twice 
I pawned fome books for money to purchafe 
others; but I foon was tired of pawnbrokers, 
and at that time they were not fo reflricted, as 
now, in refpect to intereft, and thinking my- 
felf impofed on, by being charged more than 
was reafonable, I never redeemed the laft par- 
gel at all; for, indeed, they were books that I 
T 4 had 



328 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

had bought extremely cheap, fo that I bor- 
rowed more money on them than they coft 
me, and in fo doing repaid myfelf what I 
had been overcharged. " I confefs we were 
poor ; but, while that is the worft our 
enemies can fay of us, we are content.*' 

Soon after I commenced bookfeller, I 
became acquainted with what Pope calls 
*' the noblefr, work of God," an HONEST 
man. This was Mr. JOHN DENIS, an oil- 
man in Cannon-ftreet (father of the prefent 
Mr. John Denis, bookfeller.) This gen- 
tleman had often vifited me during my long 
illnefs, and having feen me tranquil and 
ferene when on the very point of death, he 
formed a favourable conclufion that I too 
muft be an honeft man, as I had fo quiet a 
confcience at fuch an awful period. Having 
retained thefe ideas of me after my recovery, 
and being perfectly well acquainted with my 
circumftances, he one day offered to become 
a partner in my bufinefs, and to advance 
money in proportion to my flock. This, 

confidential 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 329. 

confidential offer I foon accepted ; early in 
1778 he became partner ; and we very foon 
laid out his money in fecond-hand books, 
which increafed the flock at once to double. 

I foon after this propofed printing a fale 
catalogue, to which, after making a few ob* 
jections, Mr. Denis confented. This cata- 
logue of twelve thoufand volumes (Tuch as 
they were) was publifhed in 1779. My 
partner's name was not in the title-page, the 
addrefs was only " J. LACKINGTON and Co, 
No. 46, Chifwell-ftreet," This our firft 
publication produced very oppofite effects on 
thofe who perufed it ; in fome it excited 
much mirth, in others an equal proportion 
of anger. The major part of it was written 
by me, but Mr. Denis wrote many pages of 
it; and as his own private library confifted 
of fcarceold myftical and alchymical books, 
printed above a century ago, many of them 
were in bad condition ; this led him to infert 
neat in the catalogue to many articles, which 



33 o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 
were only neat when compared with fuch as 
were in very bad condition; fo that when 
we produced fuch books as were called neat 
in our catalogue, we often got ourfelves 
laughed at, and fometimes our neat articles 
were heartily damned. We had alfo a deal 
of trouble on another fcore ; Mr. Denis in- 
ferted a number of articles without the 
authors names, and affured me that the 
books were well known, and to mention the 
authors was often ufelefs. The facl: was, 
Mr.. Denis knew who wrote thole articles; 
but was foon convinced that many others did 
not, as we were often obliged to produce 
them merely to let our cuflomers fee who 
were the authors : we however took twenty 
pounds the firfl week the books were on. 
fale, which we thought a large fum. The 
increafe of our flock augmented our cuf- 
tomers in proportion j fo that Mr. Denis, 
finding that his money turned to a better 
account in bookfelling than in the funds, 
very foon lent the ftock near two hundred 
pounds, which J ftill turned to a good 

account* 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 331 

account. We went on very friendly and 
profperoufly for a little more than two years ; 
when one night Mr. Denis hinted that 
he thought I was making purchafes too 
faft, on which I grew warm, and reminded 
him of an article in our partnerfhip agree- 
ment by which I was to he fole purchafer, 
and was at liberty to make what purchafes I 
fhould judge proper. I alfo reminded him 
of the piofits which my purchafes produced, 
and he reminded me of his having more 
money in the trade than I had. We were 
indeed both very warm ; and on my faying, 
that if he was difpleafed with any part of 
my conduit, he was at liberty to quit the 
partnerfhip, he in great warmth replied that 
he would. The above paffed at Mr. Denis's 
houfe in Hoxton-fquare, I then bade him 
good night. When Mr. Denis calkd at the 
Ihop the next day, he afked me if I con- 
tinued in the fame trind I was in the prece- 
ding night ? I allured him jhat I did. He 
then demanded of me whether I infifted- on 
his keeping his word to quit the partnerfhip ? 

1 replied, 



332 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

J replied, I did not Injljl on it, as I had taken 
him a partner for three years, nearly one 
third part of which time was unexpiredj 
but, I added, that, as I had always found 
him ftrictly a man of his word, I fuppofed 
he would prove himfelf fo in the prefent 
inftance, and not affert one thing at night 
and another in the morning. On which he 
ohferved, that as he was not provided with a 
(hop, he muft take fome time to look for one. 
I told him that he might take as long a time 
as he thought neceflary. This was in March 
3780. He appointed the twentieth of May, 
following. On that day we accordingly 
diflolved the partnermip ; and, as he had 
more money in the trade than myfelf, he 
toolc my notes for what I was deficient. We 
parted in great friendmip, which continued 
to the day of his death ; he generally called 
every morning to fee us, and learn our con- 
cerns, and we conflantly informed him of 
all that had pafTed the preceding day ; as how 
much cam we had taken, what were the 
profits, what purchafes we had made, what 

bills 



LtFF OF J. LACKINGTON. 333 

bills we had to pay, &c. and he fometimes 
lent me money to help to pay them. 

At his death he left behind him in his 
private library the beft collection of fcarce, 
valuable, myftical, and alchymical books, 
that ever was colledted by one perfon. la 
his lifetime he prized thefe kind of books 
above every thing; in collecting them he 
never cared what price he paid for them. 
This led him to think, after he became a 
bookfeller, that other book-collectors mould 
pay their money as freely as he had done his, 
which was often a fubject of debate between 
him and me, as I was for felling every thing 
cheap, in order to fecure thofe cuftomers al- 
ready obtained, as well as increafe their 
numbers. 

Mr. Denis was, at the time of his death, 
about fifty years of age. He informed me 
that in his childhood and youth he was 
weakly to an extreme, fo that no one who 
knew him ever thought he could live to be 

twenty 



334 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

twenty years of age ; however he enjoyed 
an uninterrupted ftate of health for nearly 
the laft thirty years of his life ; this he 
afcribed to his ftrictly adhering to the rules 
laid down by Cornaro and Try on in their 
books on Health, Long Life and Happinefs. 
His unexpected death was in confequence of 
a fever caught by fitting in a cold damp 
room. 

O'er the fad reliques of a friend fincere, 
The happieft mortal, fare, may fpare a tear. 

I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 335 



LETTER XXXII. 

" There Is a tide in the affairs of men, 

" Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune, 

" Omitted, all the voyage of their life 

" Is bound in ftiallows and in miferies ; 

" On fuch a foul fea are we now afloat, 

" And we muft take the current when it ferves, 

" Or lofe our ventares." 

SHAKESPEARE'S Julius Caifar. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

XT was fome time in the year 
feventeen hundred and eighty, when I re- 
folved from that period to give no perfon 
whatever any credit. I was induced to make 
this refolution from various motives : I had 
obferved, that where credit was given, moft 
bills were not paid within fix months, many 
not within a twelvemonth, and fome not 
within two years. Indeed, many tradefmen 
have accounts of feven years {landing ; and , 
fome bills are never paid. The lofles fuf- ' 
tained by the interefl of money in long cre- 
dits, and by thofe bills that were not paid at 

alf; 



336 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 

all ; the inconveniences attending not having 
the ready-money to lay out in trade to the 
beft advantage, -together with the great lofs 
of time in keeping accounts, and collecting 
debts, convinced me, that if I could but 
eftablifh a ready-money buiinefs, without any 
exceptions, I mould be enabled to fell every 
article very cheap. When I communicated 
my ideas on this fubjeft to fome of my ac- 
quaintances, I was much laughed at and ri- 
diculed j and it was thought, that I might 
as well attempt to rebuild the tower of Babel, 
as to eflablifh a large bufinefs without giving 
credit. But notwithflanding this difcourage- 
ment, and even Tou, my dear friend, ex- 
preffing your doubts of the practicability of 
my fcheme, I determined to make the expe- 
riment ; and began by marking in every book 
the loweft price that I would take for it ; 
which being much lower than the common, 
market prices, I not only retained my former 
cuftomers, but foon increafed their numbers. 
But, my dear Sir, you can fcarce imagine 
what difficulties I encountered for feveral 

years 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 337 

years together. I even fometimes thought 
of relinquifhing this my favorite fcheme al- 
together, as by it I was obliged to deny cre- 
dit to my very acquaintance ; I was alfo un- 
der a necefllty of refuting it to the moft 
refpe&able chara&ers, as no exception was, or 
now is made, not even in favour of nobility ; 
my porters being ftri&ly enjoined, by one 
general order, to bring back all books not 
previoufly paid for,, except they receive the 
amount on delivery. Again, many in the 
country found it difficult to remit fmall fums 
that are below bankers notes, and others to 
whom I was a ftranger, did not like to fend 
the money firft, as not knowing how I 
fhould treat them, and fufpe&ing by the 
price of the articles, there muft certainly be 
fome deception. Many unacquainted with 
my plan of bufinefs, were much offended, 
until the advantages accruing to them from 
it were duly explained, when they very 
readily acceded to it. As to the anger of 
fuch, who though they were acquainted 
with it, were ftill determined to deal on cre- 
U dit 



33 8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

dit only, I confidered that as of little con- 
fequence, from an opinion that fome of them 
would have been as much enraged when 
their bills were fent in, had credit been 
given them. 

I had alfo difficulties of another nature to 
encounter ; when firft I began to fell very 
cheap, many came to my (hop prepoffeffed 
againft my goods, and of courfe often faw 
faults where none exifted ; fo that the beil 
editions were merely from prejudice deemed 
very bad editions, and the bed: bindings faid 
to be inferior workmanmip, for no other 
reaforc, but becaufe I fold them fo cheap ; 
and I often received letters from the country, 
to know if fuch and fuch articles were 
REALLY as I flated them in my catalogues^ 
and if they REALLY were the bejl editions, 
if REALLY in calf', and REALLY elegantly 
bound; with many other r sally s. Oh my 
friend ! I really was afraid for fome years 
that I mould be really mad with vexation. 
But thefe letters of reattys have for years hap- 
pily ceafed, and the public are now really 

and 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 339 

and thoroughly convinced that I will not 
afTert in my catalogues what is not really true. 
But imagine, if you can, what I muft have 
felt, on hearing the very beft of goods de- 
preciated, on no other account whatever, but 
becaufe they were not charged at a higher 
price. 

It is alfo worth obferving, that there were 
not wanting among the bookfellers, fome 
who were mean enough to aflert that all my 
books were bound in flieep ; and many other 
unmanly artifices were praclifed,, all of which 
fo far from injuring me, as bafely intended, 
turned to my account; for when gentlemen 
were brought to my mop by their friends, 
to purchafe fome trifling article, or were led 
into it by curiofity, they were often very 
much furprifed to fee many thoufands of 
volumes in elegant and fuperb bindings. 
The natural conclufion was, that if I had 
not held forth to the public better terms 
than others, I mould not have been fo much 
envied and mifreprefented. So that whether 
I am righteous or not, all thefe afflictions 
U 2 have 



340 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

have worked together for my good. But I 
affure you, that my temporal falvation was 
not effe&ed without " conditions" As every 
envious tranfa&ion was to me an additional 
fpur to exertion, I am therefore not a little 
indebted to Mefirs. ENVY, DETRACTION, 
and Co. for my prefent profperity ; though 
I affure you, this is the only debt I am de- 
termined not to pay. Green fays, 

' Happy the man who innocent, 
*' Grieves not at ills he can't prevent : 
" And when he can't prevent foul play, 
" Enjoys the follies of the fray." 



SPLEEN. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 341 



LETTER XXXIII. 

" Conftant at (hop and Change, his gains were fure: 
* His givings rare ; fave half-pence to the poor." 

DEAR FRIEND, 

IN the firft three years after 
I refufed to give credit to any perfon, my 
bufmefs increafed much, and as the whole 
of my profit (after paying all expences) was 
laid out in books, my ftock was continually 
enlarged, fo that my Catalogues in the year 
feventeen hundred and eighty -four, were very 
much augmented in fize. The firft contained 
Twelve thoufand, and the lecond Thirty 
thoufand volumes: this increafe was not 
merely in numbers, but alfo in value, as a 
very great part of thefe volumes were better, 
that is, books of an higher price. But not- 
withftanding the great increafe of my buuV 
nefs, I flill met with many difficulties on 
account of my felling books cheap j one of 
thefe I confefs I did not forefee : as the 
more convinced the public were of my acl> 
U 2 ing 



34* LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ing ftrictly conformable to the plan I had 
adopted, the more this obje&ion gained 
ground, and even to the prefent day is not 
entirely done away. This difficulty was, in 
making private purchafes of libraries and par- 
cels of books, many of my cuilomers for fe- 
veral years had no obje&ion tc buying of me 
becaufe I fold cheap, but were not equally 
inclined to Jell me fuch books as they had 
no ufe for, or libraries that were left them 
at the death of relations, &c. They reafoned 
(very plaufibly, it muft be confefled) thus : 
" Lackington fells very cheap; he therefore 
will riot give much for what is offered him 
for fale. I will go to thofe who fell very 
dear ; as the more they fell their books for, 
the more they can afford to give for them." 

This mode of reafoning, however fpecious 
it feems at firft, will on due reflection appear 
nugatory and erroneous, for the following 
reafons : 

1 believe no one ever knew or heard of a 
covetous man that would fell his goods cheap* 

But 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 343 

But every one has heard of ftich characters 
felling very dear ; and when a covetous per- 
fon makes a purchafe, is it likely that he 
Should offer a generous price ? Is he not 
when buying influenced by the fame avari- 
tious difpofition as when felling ? And on the 
other hand, I cannot help thinking (I am 
aware of the inference) that one who has 
been conftantly felling cheap for a feries of 
years muft poflefs fome degree of generofity ; 
that this difpofition has prevailed in me 
when I have been called to purchafe, and 
when libraries or parcels of books have been 
fent to me, thoufands in the three kingdoms 
can witnefs. And however paradoxical it 
may appear, I will add, that I can afford to 
give more for books now, than I could if I 
fold them much dearer. For, were I to fell 
them dear, I mould be ten times longer in 
felling them ; and the expences for ware- 
houfe-room, infurance from fire, together with 
the intereft of the money lying long in a dead 
flock, would prevent my giving a large price 
when books were offered for fale. 

U 4 But 



344 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

But it did not appear in this point of view 
to the public in the more early ftages of my 
bufinefs, until being often fent for after other 
bookfellers had made offers for libraries,- and 
finding that I would give more than they ha5 
offered, it was communicated from one to 
another until it became publickly known ; 
and the following method which I adopted 
fome years fince has put the matter beyond 
the fhadow of a doubt. 

When I am calle^ upon to purchafe any 
library or parcel of books, either myfelf or 
my affiftants carefully examine them, and if 
defired to fix a price, J mention at a word 
the utmoft that I will give for them, which 
I always take care mall be as much as any 
bookfeller can afford to give : but if the feller 
entertains any doubts reipecling the price of- 
fered, and choofes to try other bookfellers, 
he pays me five per cent, for valuing the 
books; and as he knows what I have valued 
them at, he tries among the trade, and 
when he finds that he cannot get any greater 
furri offered, on returning to me, he not 

A only 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 345 

only receives the price I at firft offered, but 
alfo a return of the five per cent, which was 
paid me for the valuation. 

But to fuch as fix a price on their own 
books I make no charge, either taking them 
at the price at which they are offered to me, 
or if that appear too much, immediately de- 
clining the purchafe. 

This equitable mode I have the pleafure 
to find has given the public the utmofl 
fatisfa&ion. 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



346 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XXXIV. 

" Behold, Sir Balaam, novr a man of fpirit, 

" Afcribes his gettings to his parts and merit." 

POPE. 

" Weak truth cannot your reputation fave, 
" The knaves will all agree to call you knave : 
" Wrong'd (hall he live, infulted, o'er oppreft, 
" Who dares be lefs a villain than the reft." 

Satyr againft Man. 

BEAR FRIEN 7 D, 

\VHEN I was firft initiated 
into the various manoeuvres practifed by 
bookfellers, I found it cuflomary among 
them, (which practice ftill continues) that 
when any books had not gone off fo rapidly 
as expelled, or fo faft as to pay for keeping 
them in ftore, they would put what re- 
mained of fuch articles into private fales, 
where only bookfellers are admitted, and of 
them only fuch as were invited by having a 
catalogue fent them. At one of thefe fales I 
have frequently feen feventy or eighty thou- 
fand volumes fold after dinner, including 

books 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 347 

books of every defcription, good, bad and 
indifferent j by this means they were diftri- 
buted through the trade. 

When firft invited to thefe trade fales, I 
was very much furprifed to learn, that it was 
common for fuch as purchafed remainders, 
to deflroy one half or three fourths of fuch 
books, and to charge the full publication 
price, or nearly that, for fuch as they kept 
on hand $ and there was a kind of {landing 
order amongft the trade, that in cafe any one 
was known to fell articles under the publica- 
tion price, fuch a perfon was to be excluded 
from trade files ; fo blind were copy-right^ 
holders to their own intereft. 

For a fhort time I cautioufly complied 
with this cuftom, but I foon began to reflect 
that many of thefe books fo deftroyed, pof- 
fefled much merit, and only wanted to be 
better known ; and that if others were not 
worth fix millings, they were worth three 
or two, and fo in proportion for higher or 
lower priced books. 

From 



34 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

From that time I refolved not to deftroy 
any books that were worth faving, but to 
fell them off at half, or a quarter of the pub- 
lication prices. By felling them in this cheap 
manner, I have difpofed of many hundred 
thoufand volumes, many thoufands of which 
have been intrinfically worth their original 
prices. This part of my conduct, however, 
though evidently highly beneficial to the com- 
munity, and even to bookfellers, created me 
many enemies among the trade j fome of the 
meaner part of whom, inflead of employing 
their time and abilities in attending to the in- 
creafe of their own bufinefs, aimed at reducing 
mine; and by a variety of pitiful insinuations, 
and dark inuendoes, {trained every nerve to 
injure the reputation I had already acquired 
with the public, determined, (as they wifely 
concluded) thus to effect my ruin ; which 
indeed they daily prognosticated, with a de* 
mon-like fpirit, muft inevitably very fpeedily 
follow. This conduct, however, was far 
from intimidating me, as the effect proved 
directly oppofite to what they wifhed for and 

expected, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 34.9 

expected, and I found the refpeft and confi- 
dence of the public continually increafing, 
which added very confiderably to the num- 
ber of my cuftomers : It being an unqueftion- 
able fact, that before I adopted this plan, 
great numbers of perfons were very defirous 
of pofleffing fome particular books, for which 
however (from various motives) they were 
not inclined to pay the original price ; as 
fome availed themfelves of the opportunity 
of borrowing from a friend, or from a cir- 
culating library, or having once read them, 
though they held the works in efteem, 
might deem them too dear to purchafe ; or 
they might have a copy by them, which 
from their own and family's frequent ufe (or 
lending to friends) might not be in fo good 
a condition as they could wifh, though ra- 
ther than purchafe them again at the full 
price, they would keep thofe they had ; or 
again, they might be defirous to purchafe 
them to make prefents of; or they might 
have a commiffion from a correfpondent in 
the country, or abroad, and wifh to gain a 

fmall 



350 LIFE OP J. LACKINGTON. 

fmall profit on the articles for their trouble, 
not to mention the great numbers that would 
have been given to the poor. 

Thoufands of others have been effectually 
prevented from purchafing, (though anxious 
ib to do) whofe circumftances in life would 
not permit them to pay the full price, and 
thus were totally excluded from the advan- 
tage of improving their underftandings, and 
enjoying a rational entertainment. And you 
may be aiTured, that it affords me the moft 
pleafing fatisfadion, independent of the emo- 
luments which have accrued to me from 
this plan, when I reflect what prodigious 
numbers in inferior or reduced fituations of 
life, have been eirentially benefited in con- 
fequence of being thus enabled to indulge 
their natural propenfity for the acquifition of 
knowledge, on eafy terms: nay, I could 
almoft be vain enough to affert, that I have 
thereby been highly inftrumental in diffufing 
that general defire for READING, now fo 
prevalent among the inferior orders of fo- 

ciety ; 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 351 

ciety; which moft certainly, though it may 
not prove equally inftrucVive to all, keeps 
them from employing their time and money, 
if not to bady at leaf! to kfs 



How happy fhould I have deemed myfelf 
in the earlier ftage of my life, if I could 
have met with the opportunity which every 
one capable of reading may now enjoy, of 
obtaining books at fo eafy a rate : Had that 
been the cafe, the Catalogue of my juvenile 
library, with which I prefented you in a 
former letter, would have made a more 
refpe&able appearance, and I might poffibly 
have been enabled when I purchafed Young's 
Night Thoughts for a Chnjlmas dinner^ to 
have at the fame time bought a joint of meat, 
and thus enjoyed both a mental and corpo- 
real feaft, as well as pleafed my wife, (which 
I need not inform you the ladies fay every 
good hufband ought to do.) But after all, 
quere, Whether if I had enjoyed fuch an 
advantage, fhould I ever have thought of 
commencing bookfeller I If not, fhould I 

have 



352 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

have been the great man I now feel myfelf, and 
hope^/0# acknowledge me to be ? Jn my next 
I will make a fewobfervations onpurchafmg 
manufcripts, bookfeller's liberality, author's 
turning publifhers, &c. in the mean time, 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 353 



LETTER XXXV. 

" High in the world of letters, and of wit, 

" Enthron'd like Jove behold opinion fit ! 

" As fymbols of her fway, on either hand 

" Th* unfailing urns of praife and cenfure ftand ; 

'* Their mingled ftreams her motley fervants fhed 

" On each bold author's felf-de voted head." 

HAYLET. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JL Promifed in my laft to give 
you a few remarks on purchafing manu- 
fcriptsj and as I feldom make fuch pur- 
chafes, and but rarely publifh any new books, 
1 think you may fairly credit me for impar- 
tiality. Nothing is more common than to 
hear authors complaining againft publishers, 
for want of liberality in purchafing their 
manufcripts. But I cannot .help thinking 
that moft of thefe complaints are groundlefs ; 
and that were all things confidered, publifliers 
(at leaft many of them) would be allowed 
to poflefs more liberality than any other fet 
X of 



354 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

of tradefmen, I mean fo far as relates to the 
purchafing manufcripts and copy-right. 

Not to trouble you with a. long enumera- 
tion of initances in confirmation of this afler- 
tion, I fhall barely mention the following : 

It is owing to the encouragement of book- 
fellers that the public is poflefied of that 
valuable work Johnfon's Dictionary ; and the 
fame liberality to the doctor in refpect to that 
publication, his edition of Shakefpeare, and 
the Englifh. Poets will always reflect honour 
on the parties. So fenfible was the doctor of 
this, that he aflerted bookfellers .were the 
beft Macaenas's. 

The late Sir John Hawkins, Dr. Cullen, 
the prefent Dr. Robertfon, Mr. Gibbon, 
Dr. Knox, &c. &c. are all ftriking inftances 
of the truth of my obfervation. 

As I feel a pleafure in mentioning acts of 
liberality wherever they occur, fuffer me to. 

quota 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 355 

quote the following paflage from Sir John 
Hawkins's Life of Dr. Johnfon. 

" The bookfellers with whom Mr. Cham- 
bers had contracted for his dictionary, rind- 
ing that the work fucceeded beyond their 
expectations, made him a voluntary prefent 
of, I think, 500!. Other inftances of the 
like generofity have been known of a pro- 
feffion of men, who, in the debates on the 
queftion of literary property, have been de- 
fcribed as fcandalous monopolizers, fattening 
at the expence of other men's ingenuity, and 
growing opulent by opprefilon." 

It is confidently aflerted, that the late Dr. 
Hawkefworth received fix thoufhnd pounds 
for his compilation of Voyages, if fo (and I 
have never heard it contradicted) I leave it to 
any conHderate perfon to judge, whether in 
paying fo enormous a price, the publishers 
did not run a great rifk, when it is conlldered 
how great the expences of bringing forward 
fuch a work, muft have been.. I have alfo 
X 2 been 



35& LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

been informed that David Mallet, Elq. 
was offered two thoufand pounds for Lord 
Bolingbroke's Philofophical Works, which 
he refufed. 

It ought alfo to be confidered, that fre- 
quently the money which is paid for the 
copy, is but trifling, compared with the 
expence of printing, paper, advertifing, c. 
and hundreds of inftances may be adduced of 
publishers having fuftained very great lories, 
and many have been made bankrupts, 
through their liberality in purchafing manu- 
fcripts and publifhing them; and on the other 
hand, it mull: be acknowledged that fome 
publishers have made great fortunes by their 
copy rights, but their number is compara^ 
tively fmall. 

It mould alfo be remarked that authors 
in general, are apt to form too great expecla- 
tions from their productions, many inftances 
of which I could give you, but I will only 

produce one. 

A gen- 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 357 

A gentleman a few jears fince (hewed a 
manufcript to a publimer, which he refufed to 
purchafe, but offered to be the publifher if 
the gentleman would print it, &c. at his 
own expence, which he readily agreed to do, 

'the publifher then defired to know how 
many copies fhould be printed, on which 
the gentleman began to compute how many 
families there were in Great Britain, and 
allured the publifher that every family would 

" at leqft purchafe one copy, but the publisher 
not being of the fame opinion, our author 
then faid that he would print fixty thoufand 
copies only^ but added, he was afraid that 
another edition could not be got ready as 
foon as it would be wanted. However, 
after a long debate, the publisher prevailed 
on him to print only twelve hundred and fifty , 
inftead of Jlxty thoufand, but promifed in cafe 
another edition mould be wanted in hafte, to 
make the printers work night and day in 
order not to difappoint the public. This 
work was foon afterwards publifhed and ad- 
X 3 Vertifed 



358 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

vertifed at a great rate and for a long time, 
but to the -infinite mortification of our au- 
thor, not one hundred copies were fold, not 
even enough indeed to pay for the advertife- 
ments. In the preceding inftance I am per- 
fuaded the publisher did his be ft to promote 
the fale of the work ; but in general where 
authors keep their own copy- right they do 
not fucceed, and many books have been 
configned to oblivion, through the inat- 
tention and mifmanagement of publifhers, as 
moft of them are envious of the fuccefs of 
fuch works as do not turn to their own ac- 
count ; very many juft corr plaints are made 
on this head, fo that I am fully of opinion 
that for authors to fucceed well they fhould 
fell their copy-rights, or be-previoufly well 
acquainted with the characters of their pub- 
Lihers. 

As I have before obferved, there are fome 

nhors who become their own publifhers, 

but that mode will feldom or never anfwer, 

as fifty to one might be fold by being ex- 

pofed 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 359 

pofed to view, and recommended in book- 
fellers mops, where ladies and gentlemen 
are continually calling to purchafe fome 
books, and to turn over others, and often by 
dipping into publications are led to purchafe 
fuch as they had no intention to buy. But 
authors mould be reminded that there are 
many who would not go to private houfes to 
look over books when they are not certain to 
purchafe, and where, if they do purchafe, 
they are to take them home in their pockets, 
or be at the trouble of fending for them, 
which is not the cafe when they purchafe at 
a bookfeller's ihop. And all authors mould 
be fure to give the full allowance to the 
trade, or their works can never have a great 
fale, as no bookfeller can reafonably be ex- 
pected to promote the fale of a work 111 
which he is abridged of his ufual profits, 
and the more liberality authors exercife to- 
wards the trade, the greater will be their 
profits in the end. For it is inconceivable 
what mifchief bookfellers can and often will 
X 4 do 



360 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

do to authors, as thoufands of books are 
yearly written for to London that are never 
lent ; and in thefe cafes many plaufible rea- 
fons are afligned by them for fuch omiffions, 
and in fuch cafes, what redrefs can an author 
have for fo effential an injury ? 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours, 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 3 6t 



LETTER XXXVI. 

Thofe who would learning's glorious kingdom find, 
The dear-bought treasure of the trading mind, 
From many dangers muft themfelves acquit, 
And more than Scylla and Charybdis meet. 
Oh ! what an ocean muft be voyaged o'er, 
To gain a profpecl of the finning ftore ! 
Refitting rocks oppofe th* enquiring foul, 
And adverie waves retard it as they roll. 
The little knowledge now which man obtains, 
From outward objects and from fenfe he gains; 
He like a wretched flave muft plod and fweat, 
By day muft toil, by night that toil repeat, 
And yet, at laft, what little fruit he gains, 
A beggar's harveft glean'd with mighty pains I" 

POMFJLET. 



DEAR FRIEND, 

ALTHOUGH the 

of the plan which I adopted for reducing the 
price of books, as mentioned in my laft, 
was a vaft increafe of purchafers, yet at the 
fame time I found a prodigious accumulation 
of my expellees ; which will not appear 
ft/range, when I inform you that I made 

pro- 



362 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

proportionably large purchafes, fuch as two 
hundred copies of one book, three hundred 
of another, five hundred of a third, a thou- 
fand of a fourth, two thoufand of a fifth, 
nay, fometimes I have purchafed fix thou- 
fand copies of one book, and at one time I 
actually had no lefs than TEN THOUSAND 
COPIES of Watts's Pfalms, and the fame 
number of his Hymns in my poiTeffion. In 
addition to thefe, I purchafed very large 
numbers of many thoufand different arti- 
cles, at trade fales of all forts, as bankrupt 
fales, fales of fuch as had retired from bufi- 
nefs, others caufed by the death of bookfellers, 
fales to reduce large flocks, annual fales, &c. 
that you may form fome idea, I muft inform 
you that at one of the above fales, I have 
purchafed books to the amount of five thou- 
fand pounds in one afternoon. Not to men- 
tion thofe purchafed of authors, and town and 
country bookfellers, by private contract, &c. 
to a very confiderable amount. My expences 
were alfo exceedingly increafed by the ne- 
ceffity J was under of keeping each article in 

a variety 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 363 

a variety of different kinds of bindings, to 
fuit the various taftes of my cuftomers : Be- 
fldes paying my bills for the above, I was 
always obliged to find ready money to pay 
for libraries and parcels of fecond-hand books, 
which after a while poured in upon me from 
town and country. So that I often look 
back with aftonifhment at my courage (or 
temerity, if you pleafe) in purchafing, and 
my wonderful fuccefs in taking money fuf- 
ficienf to pay the extenfive demands that 
were perpetually made upon me, as there is 
not another inftance of fuccefs fb rapid and 
conftant under fuch circumftances. Some 
indeed there have been, who for two or 
three years, purchafed away very faft, but 
could not perfevere, as they were unable to 
fell with equal rapidity : for no one that has 
not a quick fale can poflibly fucceed with 
large numbers. For fuppofing that a book- 
feller expends a thoufand pounds in the pur- 
chafe of four articles (I have often done that 
in only one article) and thefe are bought at a 
quarter the ufual price, the intereft of the 

money 



364 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

money is fifty pounds a year ; befides which 
fome allowance mull be made for warenoufe- 
room, infurance from fire, &c. fo that grant- 
ing he might fell a few of each article every 
year at four times the price he firfl paid for" 
them, yet if he does not fell enough to pay 
the intereft and other expences of thofe that 
remain, he is, after all, on the lofing fide 5 
which has been the cafe with the major part 
of fuch as have purchafed a large number of 
one book, and I have known many inftances 
of bockfellers purchafing articles at a quarter 
the price, and felling them at the full price, 
and yet have not ha.d two per cent, for their 

o>t^ 

For feveral years together I thought I 
fhould be obliged to defifl from purchafing a 
large number of any one article ; for although 
by not giving any credit I was enabled to fell 
very cheap, yet the heavy .{lock of books in 
meets often difheartened me, fo that I more 
than once refolved to leave off purchafing all 
fuch articles where the number was very 
large. But, fomehow or other, a torrent of 

bufinefs 



LIFE OF J. LACKING-TON. 363 

bufinefs fuddenly poured in upon me on all 
lides, fo that I very foon forgot my refolu- 
tion of not making large purchafes, and now 
find my account in firmly adhering to that 
method ; and being univerfally known for 
making large purchafes, moft of the trade in 
town and country, and alfo authors of every 
defcription are continually furniming me with 
opportunities. In this branch of trade it is 
next to impoffible for me ever to have any 
formidable rivals, as it requires an uncom- 
rnon exertion, as well as very uncommon, 
fuccefs, and that for many years together, 
to rife to any great degree of eminence in 
that particular line. This fuccefs muft be 
attained too, without the aid of novelty, 
which I found to be of very great fervice to 
me : And mould any perfon begin on my 
plan and fucceed extremely well, he could 
never fuperfede me, as I am ftill enlarging 
my bufinefs every year, and the more it is 
extended the cheaper I can afford to fell ; fo 
that though I may be purfued, I cannot be 
pvertaken, except I mould (as fame others 

have 



366 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

have done) be fo infatuated and blinded by 
profperity, as to think that the public would 
continue their favors, even though the plan 
of buflnefs were reverfed. But as the firft 
king of Bohemia kept his country moes by 
him, to remind him from whence he was 
taken, 1 have put a motto on the doors of 
my carriage, conftantly to remind me to what 
I am indebted for my profperity, viz. 

" SMALL PROFITS DO GREAT THINGS." 

And I affure you, Sir, that reflecting on the 
means by which I have been enabled to fup- 
port a carnage, adds not a little to the plea- 
fure of riding in it. I believe I may, with- 
out being deemed cenforious, affert, that 
there are fome who ride in their carriages, 
who cannot reflect on the means by which 
they were acquired with an equal degree of 
fatisfadion to that experienced by, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours, 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 367 



LETTER XXXVII. 

' BOCKS, of all earthly things my chief delight j 
* My exercife by day, and dreams by night ; 
' Difpaffion'd matters, friends without deceit, 
" Who flatter not ; companions ever fweet ; 
" With whom I'm always cheerful, from whom rife. 
' ImprovM and better, if not good and wife; 
" Grave, faithful counfellors, who all excite, 
" Inftruft, and ftrengthen to behave aright ; 
" Admonifh us, when fortune makes her Court, 
" And when (he's abfent, folace and fupport. 
' Happy the man to whom ye are well known. 
f c 'Tis his own fault if ever he's alone." 

ANONYMOUS. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

AT has been afked, times in- 
numerable, how I acquired any tolerable 
degree of knowledge, fo as to enable me to 
form any ideas of the merits or demerits of 
books ; or how I became fufficiently ac- 
quainted with the prices that books were 
commonly fold for, fb as to be able to buy 
and fell ; particularly books in the learned 

and 



368 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

and foreign languages. Many have thought 
that from the beginning I always kept fhop- 
men to furnim me with inftrucYions necelTary 
to carry on my bufinefs ; but you and all my 
old friends and acquaintances well know that 
not to have been the cafe ; as for the firft 
thirteen years after I became a bookfeller, I 
never had one fhopman who knew any thing 
of the worth of books, or how to write a 
fingle page of a catalogue properly, much lefs 
to compile the whole. I always wrote them 
myfelf, fo long as my health would permit : 
Indeed I continued the practice for years 
after my health was much impaired by too 
conftant an application to that and reading'* 
and when I was at laft obliged to give up 
writing them, I for feveral catalogues flooc^ 
by and dictated to others ; even to the pre- 
fent time I take fome little part in their 
compilation ; and as I ever did, I flill conti- 
nue to fix the price to every book that is fold 
in my mop, except fuch articles as. are both 
bought and fold again while I am out of 
town. I have now many affiftants in my 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 369 

{hop, who buy, fell, and in fhort tranfaft the 
major part of my bufinefs. 

As to the little knowledge of literature I 
poflefs, it was acquired by dint of applica- 
tion. In the beginning I attached myfelf 
very clofely to the ftudy of divinity and 
moral philofophy, fo that I became tolerably 
acquainted with all the points controverted 
between the divines ; after having read the 
great champions for chriftianity, 1 next read 
the works of Toulmin, Lord Herbert, Tin- 
dal, Chubb, Morgan, Collins, Hammond, 
Woolfron, Annet, Mandeville, Shafteftmry, 
D*Argens, Bolingbroke, Williams, Helve- 
tius, Voltaire, and many other free-thinkers. 
I have alfo read moft of our Englim poets, 
and the beft tranflations of the Greek, Latin, 
Italian and French poets; nor did I omit to read 
Hiftory, Voyages, Travels, Natural Hiftory, 
Biography, c. At one time I had a ftrong 
inclination to learn French, but as foon as I 
was enabled to make out and abridge title- 
pages, fo as to infert them right in my cata- 
Y logues, 



370 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

logues, 1 lefc off for what appeared to me 
more pleafing as well as more neceffary pur- 
fuits ; reflecting that as I began fo late in 
life, and had probably but a very fhort pe- 
riod to live, (and I paid fome regard to what 
Htlvetins has aflerted, viz. that " No man 
acquires any new ideas after he is forty-five 
years of age.") I had no time to beffow on 
the attainment of languages. I therefore 
contented myfelf with reading all the tranf- 
lations of the dailies, and inferting the ori- 
ginals in my Catalogues as well as I could ; 
and when fometimes I happened to put the 
Genitive or Dative cafe infteacTof the Nomi- 
native or dccufative,- my cuftomers kindly 
confidered this as a venial fault, which they 
readily pardoned, and bought the books not- 
withflanding. 

As 1 have indefatigably ufed my heft 
endeavours to acquire knowledge, I never 
thought I had the imalleft reaion to be 
'afhamed on account of my deficiency, 
cially as I never made pretenfions to er 
tion, or affected to poflefs what I knew I 

was 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 371 

Was deficient in. Dr. Young's couplet, you 
will 'therefore think equally applicable to 
many others as well as myfelf : 

" Unlearned men of books aflame the care, 
" As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair." 

Love of Fame. 

I had like to have forgot to inform you, 
that I have alfo read mofl of our beft plays, 
and am fo fond of the Theatre, that in the 
winter feafbn I have often been at Drury- 
Lane or Covent-Garden four or five evenings 
in a week. Another great fource of amufe- 
ment as well as knowledge, I have met with 
in reading almoft all the beft novels ; by the 
beft, I mean thole written by Cervantes, 
Fielding, Smollet, Richardfon, Mifs Burney, 
Voltaire, Sterne, Le Sage, Goldfmith, and 
fome others. And I have often thought, 
-with Fielding, that fome of thofe publica- 
tions have given us a more genuine hiftory 
of Man, in what are called Romances, than 
is fometimes to be found under the mere 
refpe&able titles of Hiftory, Biography, &c. 

Y 2 In 



372 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

In order to obtain fome ideas in Aflro- 
nomy, Geography, Electricity, Pneuma- 
tics, &c. I attended a few lectures given by 
the late eminent Mr. Fergufon, the prefent 
very ingenious Mr. Walker, and others ; 
and for fome time feveral gentlemen fpent 
two or three evenings in a week at my 
houfe, for the purpofe of improvement in 
icience. At thefe meetings we made the 
beft ufe of our time with globes, telefcopes, 
microfcopes, electrical machines, air pumps, 
air guns, a good bottle of wine, and other phi- 
lofophical inftruments 

The mention of which revives in my me- 
mory the lofs I fuftained by the premature 
death of a worthy philofophical friend, 
whom you have met, when you occafionally 
did us the honor of making one of the even- 
ing party, and benefiting us by your inftruc- 
tions. I could fay much in his praife, but 
(hall forbear, as another friend, who was 
alfo one of this (I may truly fay) rational 
tjfembly has compofed what I think a juft 
character of him, free from that fulfome 

panegyric 



LIFE OF J. DACKINGTON. 373 

panegyric which too often degrades thofe it 
is meant to celebrate, and conveys to all 
who knew the parties, the idea of having 
been defigned as a burleique inftead of an 
encomium ; however, as you may not have 
leen it (though in print) and it will engrofs 
but a very little of your time to perufe, I 
fliall here beg leave to infert it. 

" On Sunday, May 24, 1789, died at his 
" houfe in Worfhip-flreet, Moorfields, aged 
" 50, Mr. Ralph Tinley ; one who had not 
<e dignity of birth or elevated rank in life to 
" boaft of, but who poflefled what is far fu- 
" perior to either, a folid underftanding, 
(t amiable manners, a due fenfe of religion, 
" and an induftrious difpofition, Inflead of 
" riches, Providence bleffed him with a good 
" (hare of health, and a mind contented with 
" an humble fituation. Thofe hours which 
" he could (pare from a proper attention to 
" the duties of a hufband and a father, and 
" manual labour as a (lioemaker, were incef- 
" fantly employed in the improvement of 
** his mind in various branches of fcience ; 

' in 



374 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" in many of which he attained a profici- 

" ency, totally diverted of that affectation of 

" fuperiority which littje minds aflume. 

" Thefe qualities rendered him refpedted by 

" all who knew him, as an intelligent man, 

" and a moft agreeable companion. Among 

" other acquifitions, ENTOMOLOGY was his 

*' peculiar delight. Thus far the profpect is 

" pleafmg. It is a painful taik to add, that 

*' this amiable perfon fell a victim to an un- 

" happy error in taking a medicine. The 

" evening previous to his deceafe he fpent in 

" a philofophical fociety, of which he had 

u many years been a member, and where 

" his attendance had been conftant ; but 

" finding himfelf indifpofed, he in the 

" morning early had recourfe to a^ phial of 

<c antimonial wine, which had long been in 

" his poffeffion, and of which only a final 1 

" part remained. This, moft unfortunately ! 

" he fwallowed j and it having by long ma-r 

46 ceration, acquired an extraordinary degree 

" of ftrength, and being rendered turbid by 

<c mixing with the metallic particles, it pro- 

46 duced 



LIFE OF J. LACK1NGTON. 375 

*' duced the efFecT: of a violent poifon, occa- 
*' fioning almoft inftantaceous death. May 
" his fate prove a warning to others to be 
" careful ho\v they venture to confide in 
" their own judgment in fo intricate afcience 
" as medicine! His valuable cabinet of in- 
" feels, both foreign and domeflic, luppofed 
" to be one of the completed (of a private 
" collection) in the kingdom, all fcientifi- 
" cally arranged with peculiar neatnefs, and 
" in the fineft prefervation, will (if it falls 
" into proper hands,) remain a monument of 
" his knowledge and application." But to 
proceed. 

I cannot help regretting the difadvnntages 
I labor under by having been deprived of the 
benefits of an early education, as it is a lofs 
that can fcarcely be repaired, in any fituation. 
How much more difficult then was it for me 
to attain any degree of proficiency, when in- 
volved in the concerns of a large builneis r 



nius learning foars in vain, ~* 

learning, genius finks again; ^V. 

nited, crowns the fpnghtly reign." J 



Without a genius learning foars in vain, 
And without 

Their force united, 

E L P H i N s T o N 's Horace. 

Y 4 The 



376 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

The inftruclions that I received from men 
and books were often like the feeds fown 
among thorns, the cares of the world choked 
them. So that although I underftand a 
little of many branches of literature, yet my 
knowledge is, after all, I freely confefs, but 
fuperficial ; which indeed I need not have 
told you. However, fuperficial as it is, it 
not only affords me an endlefs fource of plea- 
fure, but it has been of very great ufe to me 
in bulinefs, as it enabled me to put a value 
on thoufands of articles, before I knew what 
fuch books were commonly fold at : 'tis true 
I was fometimes miftaken, and have fold a 
very great number of different articles much 
lower than I ought, even on my own plan 
of felling very cheap, yet that never gave 
me the fmalleft concern ; But if I difcovered 
that I had (as fometimes was the cafe) fold 
any articles too dear, it gave me much un- 
eafinefs ; for whether I had any other mo- 
tives I will leave to fuch as are acquainted 
with me to determine, but I reafoned thus ; 
If I fell a book too dear, I perhaps lofe that 

cuftomer. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 377 

cuftomer and his friends for ever, but if I 
fell articles confiderably under their real 
value, the purchafer will come again and 
recommend my {hop to his acquaintances, 
fo that from the principles of felf-intereil: I 
would fell cheap ; I always was inclined to 
reafon in this manner, and nine years fince 
a very trifling circumftance operated much 
upon my mind and fully convinced me my 
judgment was right on that head. Mrs. 
Lackington had bought a piece of linen to 
make me fome fhirts ; when the linen-dra- 
per's man brought iit into my mop, three 
ladies were prefent, and on feeing the cloth 
opened, aiked Mrs. L. what it coft per yard : 
on being told the price, they all faid it was 
very cheap, and each lady went and pur- 
chafed the fame quantity, to make ihirts for 
their hufbands, thofe pieces were again dif- 
played to their acquaintances, fo that the 
linen-draper got a deal of cuftpm from that 
very circumftance ; and 1 reiojved p dp 
likewile. However trifling this anecdote 
may appear^ you will pardon me for intro- 
ducing 



378 LIFE OF J. LACK1NGTON. 

ducing it, when you reflect that it was pro- 
du&ive of very beneficial confequences, and 
that many great efTe&s have ankrn from as 
trivial caufes. We are even told that Sir 
Ifaac Newton would probably never have 
fludied the iyftcm of gravitation had he not 
been under an apple tree, when iome of the 
fruit loofened from the branches and fell to 
the earth, and it was the queflion of a fim- 
ple gardener that led Galileo to ftudy and 
difcover the weight of the air. 



I am, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 379 



LETTER XXXVIII. 



" Honeft Engliflimen, who never were' abroad, 

" Like England only, and its tafte applaud. . 
" Strife (till fubfifts, which yields the better gout j 
" Books or the world, the many or the few. 
*' True tatfe to me is by this touchftone known, 
" That's always beft that's neareft to my own." 

Man of Tafte. 



DEAR FRIEND, 

JLT has been long fince re- 
marked, that a perfon may be well ac- 
quainted with books, or in other words, 
may be a very learned man, and yet remain 
almoft totally ignorant of men and manners, 
as Mallet remarks of a famous divine : 

" While Bentley, long to wrangling fchools confin'd, 
" And but by books acquainted with mankind, 
" Dares, in the fulnefs of the pedant's pride, 

* Tho' no judge decide." 

Verbal Criticifra, 

Hence many fine chimerical fyftems of 
law, government, &c, have been fpun out 

of 



380 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

of the prolific brains of the learned, which 
have only ferved to amufe others as learned 
and as unacquainted with mankind as the 
authors,- and have frequently produced a 
number of remarks, replies, obfervations, 
levere (not to fay fcurrilous) criticifms, and 
new fyftems and hypothefes ; thefe again 
gave birth to frefli remarks, rejoinders, &C. 
ad - (infinitum, I was going to fay but I 
beg pardon, having promifed to give you no 
more Latin,) Thefe learned men, after tiring 
themfelves and the public, have generally 
left them juft as wife on the fubject as when 
they began, nay often 

*' From the fame hand how various is the page .- 
" What civil war their brother pamphlets rage ? 
" Trafts battle trads, felf-contradidions glare." 



The reading and fhidying of Hiflory, 
Voyages, Travels, &c. will no doubt con- 
tribute much to that kind of knowledge, 
but will not alone be iufficient. In order to 
become a proficient in that ufeful branch of 

knowledge, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 381 

knowledge, " MAN KNOW THYSELF 'I*' was 
a precept of the antient philofophers. But 
I can fcarce think it poffible for any man to 
be well acquainted with himfelf, without 
his pofleffing a tolerable degree of knowledge 
of the reft of mankind. In the former part 
of my life I faw a deal of what is called low 
///, and became acquainted with the cuftoms, 
manners, difpofitions, prejudices, &c. of the 
labouring part of the community, in various 
cities, towns, and villages ; for years paft, I 
have fpent fome of my leifure hours among 
that clafs of people who are called opulent or 
genteel tradefmen ; nor have I been totally 
excluded from higher circles ; but among all 
the fchools where the knowledge of man- 
kind is to be acquired, I know of none equal 
to that of a bookfeller'sfaop, efpecially if the 
mafter is of an inquifitive and communica- 
tive turn, and is in a confiderable line of 
bufmefs ; His ihop will then be a place of 
refort for men, women, and children, of 
various nations, and more of various capa- 
cities, difpofitions, &c. 

To 



382 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

To adduce a few inftances by way of illuf- 
tration : Here you may find an old bawd 
inquiring for " The Countefs of Hunting- 
don's Hymn-book ; an old worn-out rake, 
for " Harris's Lift of Covent-garden Ladies;'* 
fimple Simon, for " the Art of writing Love- 
letters;" and my lady's maid, for "Ovid's 
Art of Love ;" a doubting Chriftian, for " The 
Crumbs of Comfort;" and a practical Anti- 
nomian, for " Eton's Honeycomb of Free 
Juftification ;" the pious Church-woman, for 
" the Week's Preparation ;" and the Atheift, 
for " Hammond's Letter to Dr. Prieftley ;" 
the 'Mathematician, for " Sanderfon's Flux- 
ions;" and the Beau, for " The Toilet of 
Flora ;" the Courtier, for " Machiavel's 
Prince," or " Burke on the Revolution in 
France ;" and a Republican, for " Paine's 
Rights of Man ;" the tap-room Politician, 
wants " The Hiftory of Wat Tyler," or of 
" The Fiflierman of Naples -,'* and an old 
Chelfea Pen/toner, calls for ' The Hiftory of 
the Wars of glorious Queen Anne ;" the 
Critic calls for " Bayle's Hiftorical Diflionary 

Blair's 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 383 

Blair's Lectures Johnfon's Lives of the 
Poets, and the laft month's reviews;" and 
my Barber wants " the Seffions Paper," or 
" the Trial of John the Painter :" the Free- 
Thinker alks for " Hume's Effays, and the 
young Student, for " Leland's View of 
Deiftical writers ;" the 'Fortune-teller wants 
" Salmon's Soul of Aftrology," or " San- 
derfon's Secrets of Palmiftiy ;" and the 
Sceptic wants " Cornelius Agrippa's Vanity 
of tlie Arts and Sciences;" an old hardened 
Jinner, wants " Bunyan's Good News for the 
vileft of men ;" and a moral Chrijl/an wants 
" The whole Duty of Man ;" the Roman 
Catholic wants *' The Lives of the Saints ;" 
the Protejiant wants " Fox*s Book of Mar- 
tyrs ;" one afks for <e An Account of Animal 
Magnetifm;" another for " The victorious 
Philofopher's Stone diicover'd ; one wants 
' The Death of Abel;" another deiires to 
have " The Spauifli Rogue ;" one wants an 
" Ecclefiaftical Hiftory;" another, "The 
Tyburn Chronicle;" one wants " Johnfon's 

Lives 



384 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Lives of the Highwaymen ;" another wants 
" Gibbons's Lives of pious Women ;" Mifs 

W h calls for " Euclid in Greek;" 

and a young divine for " Juliet Grenville, a 
novel ;" vvhilft the venerable pbi/qfofber, 

" Drinks large draughts of the Pyreneen fpring, 
" And likes a tafte of every THING." 

But it would be an endlefs tafk to fet down 
the various and oppofite articles that are con- 
ftantly called for in my fhop. To talk to 
thefe different purfuers after happinefs, or 
amufement, has given me much pleafure, 
and afforded me fome knowledge of man- 
kind, and alfo of books : and to hear the 
debates that frequently occur between the 
different purchafers is a fine amufement ; fo 
that I have foraetimes compared my fhop to 
a ftage. And I afTure you that a variety of 
characters, ftrongly mark*d conflantly made 
their appearance. 

Would my health permit my conftant at- 
tendance, 1 fhould prefer it, to every thing 
in life (reading excepted) and you may recoi- 
led 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 385 

left that for fome years I fought no other 
amufement whatever. 

Having been long habituated to make re- 
marks on whatever I faw or heard, is another 
reafon why I have fucceeded fo well in my 
bufmefs. I have for the laft feven years fuo 
ceffively told my acquaintances before the 
year began, how much money I mould take 
in the courfe of it, without once failing of 
taking the fitm mentioned. I formed my 
judgment by obferving what kind of ftock in 
trade I had in hand, and by confidering how 
that (lock was adapted to the different taftes 
and purfuits of the times ; in doing this I was 
obliged to be pretty well informed of the 
ftate of politics in Europe, as I have always 
found that bookfelling is much affected by the 
political flate of affairs. For as mankind are 
in fearch of amufement, they often take the 
firft that offers ; fo that if there is any thing 
in the news-papers of confequence, that draws 
many to the corTee-houfe, where they chat 
away the evenings, inftead of vifiting the 
fliops of bookfellers (as they ought to do, no 
Z doubt) 



3 86 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

doubt) or reading at home. The befl time 
for bookfelling, is when there is no kind of 
news ftirring ; then many of thofe who for 
months would have done nothing hut talk of 
war or peace, revolutions, and counter-revo- 
lutions, &c. &c. for want of other amufe- 
ment will have recourfe to books ; fo that I 
have often experienced that the report of a 
war, or the tryal of a great man, or indeed 
any fubjedl: that attracts the public attention, 
has been fome hundreds of pounds out of my 
pocket in a few weeks. 

Before I conclude this letter, I cannot help 
obferving, that the fale of books in general 
has increafed prodigioufly within the laft 
twenty years. According to the befl eftima- 
tion I have been able to make, I fuppofe that 
more than four times the number of books are 
fold now than were fold twenty years fince. 
The poorer fort of farmers, and even the poor 
country people in general, who before that 
period fpent their winter evenings in relating 
flories of witches, ghofts, hobgoblins, &c. 
now fliorten the winter nights by hearing 

their 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 387 

their Tons and daughters read tales, ro- 
mances, &c. and on entering their houfes, 
you may fee Tom Jones, Roderick Random, 
and other entertaining books ftuck up on 
their bacon racks, &c. If John goes to town 
with a load of hay, he is charged to be fure 
not to forget to bring home " Peregrine 
Pickle's adventures ;" and when Dolly is 
fent to market to fell her eggs, me is com- 
miflioned to purchafe " The hiftory of 
Pamela Andrews." In fhort all ranks and 
degrees now READ. But the moft rapid in- 
creafe of the fale of books has been fince the 
termination of the late war. 

A number of book-clubs are alfo formed in 
every part of England, where each member 
.ubfcribes a certain fum quarterly to purchafe 
books ; in fomeof thefe clubs the books after 
they have been read bv all the fubfcribers, are 
fold among them to the bigheft bidders, and 
the money produced by inch iale, is ex- 
pended in irefli purchases, by which prudent 
and judicious mode, each member has it in 
Z 2 his 



388 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

his power to become poflefled of the work of 
any particular author he may judge deferving 
a fuperior degree of attention ; and the mem- 
bers at large enjoy the advantage of a conti- 
nual fucccflion of different publications, in- 
ftead of being reftri&ed to a repeated perufai 
of the lame authors ; which muft have been 
the cafe with many if fo rational a plan had 
not been adopted. 

. I am informed that when circulating libra- 
ries were firft opened, the bookfellers were 
much alarmed, and their rapid increafe added 
to their fears, and led them to think that 
the fale of books would be much diminifhed 
by fuch libraries. But experience has proved 
that the fale of books, fo far from being 
diminifhed by them, has been greatly pro- 
moted, as from thofe repofitories, many 
thoufand families have been cheaply fupplied 
with books, by which the tafte for reading 
has become much more general, and thou- 
fands of books are pure-haled every year, by 
fuch as have firft borrowed them at thofe 

libraries* 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 389 

libraries, and after reading, approving of 
them, become purchafers. 

The Sunday-Schools are fpreading very faft 
in moft parts of England, which will acce- 
lerate the diffuffion of knowledge among the 
lower clafles of the community, and in a 
very few years exceedingly increafe the fale 
of books. Here permit me earneftly to call 
on every honeft bookfeller (I truft my call 
will not be in vain) as well as on every friend 
to the extension of knowledge, to unite (as 
you, I am confident will) in a hearty AMEN. 

Let fuch as doubt whether the enlighten- 
ing of the underftandings of the lower orders 
of fociety, makes them happier, or be of any 
utility to a ftate, read the following lines 
(particularly the laft twelve) by Dr. Gold- 
fmith, taken from his Traveller. 

" Thefe are the charms to barren ftates aflign'd, 
*' Their wants are few, their wifties all confin'd ; 
" Yet let them only (hare the praifes due, 
" If few their wants, their pleafures are but few ; 
" Since every want that ftimalates the bread, 
" Becomes a fourct of pleafure when redreft. 

Z 3 " Hence 



390 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

" Hence from fuch lands each pleafing fcience flies, 

" That firft excites defires, and then fupplies. 

" Unknown to them, when fenfual pleafures cloy, 

" To fill the languid paufe with finer joy ; 

" Unknown thofe powers that raife the foul to flame, 

" Catch every nerve, and vibrates thro' the frame ; 

" Their level life is but a mould'ring fire, 

" Nor quench'd by want, nor fann'd by ftrong defirc; 

' Unfit for raptures, or if raptures cheer, 

" On fome high feftival of once a year, 

" In wild excefs the vulgar breaft takes fire, 

" 'Till buried in debauch, the blifs expire. 

" But not their joys alone thus coarfely flow, 
" Their morals, like their pleafures, are but low : 
" Nor, as refinement flops, from fire to fon, 
" Unalter'd, unimprov'd their manners run ; 
' And love's and friendfhip's finely pointed dart 
' Fall blunted from each indurated heart ; 
" Some fterner virtues o'er the mountain's breaft, 
" May fit like falcons low'ring on the neft, 
" But all the gentler morals, fuch as play 
' Thro' life's more cultivated walks, and charm our way ; 
" Thefe far difpers'd, on timorous pinions fly, 
" To fport and flutter in a kinder fky." 

It is worth remarking that the introducing 
hiftories, romances, ftories, poems, &c. into 
fchools, has been a very great means of dif- 
fuling a general tafte for reading among all 

ranks 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 391 

ranks of people, while in fchools, the children 
only read the bible (which was the cafe in 
many fchools a few years ago) children then 
did not make fo early a progrefs in reading 
as they have (ince, they have been pleafed 
and entertained as well as inftructed ; and 
this relifh for books, in many will laft as 
long as life. 



i am, 



JL/Ciii 



Yours. 



Z 4 LETTER 



392 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 



LETTER XXXIX. 

" Happy the man that has each fortune try'd, 
*' To whom (he much has given, much deny'd, 
" With abftinence all delicates he fees, 
" And can regale himfelf with toad and cheefe." 

" Art of Cookery. 

" One folid dim his week-day meals affords, 
" And added Pudding coofecrates the Lord's," 

DEAR FRIEND, 

Jl HE Public at large, and 
bookfellers in particular, have beheld my 
increafing ftock with , the utmoft aftonifh- 
ment, they being- entirely at a lofs to con- 
ceive by what means I have been enabled to 
make good all my payments ; and for feveral 
years, in the beginning of my bufmefs, fome 
of the trade repeatedly afferted, that it was 
totally impoffible that I could continue to 
pay for the large numbers of books that I 
continually purchafed ; and ten years fmce, 
being induced to take a journey into my own 
country, with a view to the restoration of 

my 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 393 

my health, which had been materially in- 
jured by intenfe application to catalogue- 
making, too much reading, &c. during the 
fix weeks that I retired into the weft, Mrs. 
Lackington was perpetually interrogated 
refpecting the time that I was expected to 
return. This, was done in fiich a manner as 
evidently (hewed that many thought I never 
intended to return at all. But how great was 
their furprize, when as a prelude to my re- 
turn, I fent home feveral waggon loads of 
books which I had purchafed in the country. 

As I never had any part of the mifer in my 
competition, I always proportioned my ex- 
pences according to my profits ; that is, I have 
for many years expended two thirds of the 
profits of my trade ; which proportion of 
expenditure I never exceeded. If you will 
pleafe to refer to Dr. Johnfon's " Idler" for 
" the progrefs of Ned Drugget," you will 
there fee much of the progrefs of your 
humble fervant depicted. Like Ned, in the 
beginning I opened and ihut my own mop, 

and 



94 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

and welcomed a friend by a fhake of the 
hand. About a year after, I beckoned acrofs 
the way for a pot of good porter. A few 
years after that, I fometimes invited my 
friends to dinner, and provided them a 
rcafr.edj//fc/ of 'veal ; in a progreflive courfe 
the ham was introduced, and a pudding was 
the next addition made to the feait. For 
fome time a glafs of brandy and 'water was a 
luxury ; a glafs of Mr. Beaufoy's raijin ivine 
fucceeded ; and as foon as two thirds of my 
profits enabled me to afford good red port, it 
immediately appeared : nor was fherry long 
behind. 

'* Wine whets the wit, improves its native force, 

" And gives a pleafing flavour to difcourfe, 

" By making all our fpirits debonair, 

" Throws off the fears, the fedement of care." 

My country lodging by regular gradation was 
transformed into a country houfe ; and the 
inconveniences attending a Jlage coach were 
remedied by a chariot. For four years, Upper 
Hollow ay was to me an elyfium ; then Surry 
appeared unqueflionably the mod beautiful 

county 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 395 

county in England, and Merton the moft 
rural village in Surry. So now Merton is 
feledled as the feat of occafional philolophical 
retirement. 

" Here on a fingle plank thrown fafe afhore, 

" I hear the tumult of the diftant throng, 

" As that of feas remote or dying ftorms. 

' ' Here like a (hepherd gazing from his hut, 

" Touching his reed, or leaning on his ftaff, 

" Eager ambition's fiery chace I fee ; 

' I fee the circling hunt of noify men, 

" Burft law's inclofure, leap the mounds of right, 

'* Parfuing and purfu'd, each other's prey." 

YOUNG. 

But I affure you, my dear friend, that in 
every ftep of my progrefs, envy and male- 
volence has purfued me clofe. 

When by the advice of that eminent phy- 
fician, Dr. Lettfom, I purchafed a horfe 
and faved my life by the exercile it afforded 
me, the old adage, '* Set a beggar on horfe- 
back and he II ride to the devil? was deemed 
fully verified ; but when Mrs. Lackington 
mounted another, " they were very lorry to 
fee people fo young in buiiiieis run on at lo 

great 



396 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

great a rate !" The occafional relaxation 
which we enjoyed in the country was cen- 
fured as an abominable piece of pride ; but 
when the carriage and fervants in livery 
appeared, " they would not be the firfr. to 
hurt a foolifh tradefman's character ; but if 
(as was but too probable) the docket was not 
already (truck, the gazette would foon fettle 
that point." 

" Bafe Envy withers at another's joy, 

'* And hates that excellence it cannot reach." 

THOMPSON. 

But I have been lately informed that thefe 
good natured and compaffionate people have for 
fome time found it necefTary to alter their 
ftory. It ieems that at laft they have difco- 
vered the fecret fprings from whence I drew 
my wealth ; however they do not quite agree 
in their accounts, for although fome can tell 
you the very number of my fortunate lottery 
ticket, others are as pofitive that I found 
bank-notes in an old book, to the amount of 
many thoufand pounds, and if they pleafe, 
can even tell you the title of the very for- 
tunate 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTQN. 397 

tunate old book that contained this treafure. 
But you (hall receive it ,from me, which 
you will deem authority to the full as unex- 
ceptionable, I affure you then upon my 
honour that I found the whole of what I am 
pofierTed of, in SMALL PROFITS, bound\*y 
INDUSTRY, and clafpedby OECONOMY. 

Read this, ye covetous wretches, in all 
trades, who when you get a good cuftomer 
are for making the moftof him 1 But if you 
have neither honour nor honefty, you mould 
at lead poflefs a little common Jenje. Reflect 
on the many cufromers that your over-charges 
have already driven from your mops ! do you 
think that you can find cuftomers enough fo 
deficient in penetration as not to difcover your 
characters ? no fuch thing. Your exorbitant 
charges are a general fubjecl: of converfation 
and dillike : you cannot with confidence look 
your own cuftomers in the face, as you are 
confcious of your meannefs and impofition, 
and your fordid difpofition is evidently the 
reafon, that fome gentlemen are led to look 
with contempt and disdain oil tradefmen. 

But 



398 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

But when men in trade are men of honour, 
they will in general be treated as fuch ; and 
were it otherwife, 

" One felf-approving hour whole years outweighs, 
" Of ftupid ftarers, and of loud huzzas : 
" And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels, 
" Than Caefar with a fenate at his heels." 

PCPE. 

I pity from my foul many poor wretches 
which I obferve bartering away their confti- 
tutions, and what few liberal fentiments they 
may poflefs ; rifing early and fitting up late, 
exerting all the powers of body and mind, to 
get what they call a competency, no matter 
by what means this is effected; thoufands 
actually deilroy themfelves in accompliming 
their grand deflgn : others, live to obtain the 
long-wifhed for country retreat. But, alas ! 
the promifed happinefs is as far from them as 
ver, often farther. The bufy buftling fcene 
of bufinefs being over, a vacuity in the mind 
takes place, fpleen and vapors fucceed, which 
encreafe bodily infirmities, death flares them 
in the face. The mean dirty ways by which 
much of their wealth has been obtained make 

retrofpecl: 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 399 

retrofpect reflections intolerable. Philofophy 
ftands aloof, nor ever deigns to vifit the for- 
did foul. Gardens and pleafure grounds be- 
come dreary deferts ; the miferable pof- 
feflbrs linger out a wretched exigence, or 
put a period to it with a halter or pifbl. 

' Were this not common would it not be ftrange ? 
" That 'tis fo common, this is ftranger {till." 

The profits of my bufinefs the prefent 
year 1791, (as near as can be computed be- 
fore the expiration of it) will amount to FOUR 
THOUSAND POUNDS. What it will increafe 
to I know not ; but if my health will permit 
me to carry it on a few years longer, there 
is very great probability, confidering the 
rapid increafe which each fucceeding year 
has produced, that the profits will be double 
what they now are; for I here pledge my 
reputation as a tradefman, never to deviate 
from my old plan of giving as much for 
libraries as it is poffible for a tradefman to 
give, and felling them and new publications 
alfo, for the fame SMAH, PROFITS that have 
been attended with fuch aftonifhing fuccefs 

for 



400 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

for fome years part. And I hope that my 
affiftants will alfo perfevere in that attentive 
obliging mode of conduct which has fo long 
diftinguifhed No. 46 and 47, Chifwell-ftreet, 
Moorfields ; confcious, that fhould I ever be 
weak enough to adopt an oppofite line of 
conduct, or permit thofe who aft under my 
direction fo to do, I fhould no longer meet 
with the very extraordinary encouragement 
and fupport which I have hitherto experi- 
enced ; neither fhould I have the fmalleft 
claim to a continuance of it under fuch 
circumftances. 



I am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours. 

LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 401 



LETTER XL. 

< But by your revenue meafure your expence, 
" And to your funds and acres-join your fenfe." 

Yo u N c's Love of Fame. 

" Learn what thou ow'ft thy country and thy friend, 
" What's requifite to fpare, and what to fpend." 

DRY DEN'S Periius. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

JL HE open manner of ftating 
my profits will no doubt appear flrange to 
many who are not acquainted with my fin- 
gular conduct in that and other refpe&s. 
But you, Sir, know that I have for fourteen 
years paft kept a ftrift account of my profits. 
Every book in my pofleflion, before it is 
offered to fale is marked with a private mark, 
what it coft me, and with a public mark of 
what it is to be fold for ; and every article, 
whether the price is fix-pence or fixty pound?, 
is entered in a day-book as it is fold, with 
the price it coft and the money it fold for : 
and each night the profits of the day are caft 
A a up 



402 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

up by one of my (hopmeiij as every one of 
them underftands my private marks. Every 
Saturday night the profits of the week are 
added together and mentioned before all my 
fhopmen, &c. the week's profits, and alfo 
the expences of the week are then entered 
one oppofite the other, in a book kept for 
the purpofe : the whole fum taken in the 
week is alfo fet down, and the fum that has 
been paid for books bought. Thefe accounts 
are kept publickly in my mop, and ever have 
been fo, as 1 never faw any reafon for con- 
cealing them, nor was ever jealous of any of 
my men's profiting by my example and tak- 
ing away any of my bnfmefs, as I always 
found that fuch of them as did fet up for 
themfelves came to my mop and purchafed 
to the amount of ten times more than they 
hindered me from felling. By keeping an 
account of my profits, and alfo of my ex- 
pences, I have always known how to regu- 
late the latter by the former -, and I have 
done that, without the trifling way of fet- 
ting down a halfpenny- worth of matches, or 

a penny 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 403 

a penny for a turnpike. I have one perfon 
in the (hop whofe conftant employment it is 
to receive all the cafli, and difcharge all bills 
that are brought for payment, and if Mrs. 
Lackington wants money for houfe-keep- 
ing, &c. or if I want money for bobby- 
/jorfis, &c. we take five or ten guineas, 
pocket it, and fet down the fum taken out 
of trade as expended; when that is gone we 
repeat our application, but never take the 
trouble of letting down the items. But fuch, 
of my fervants as are entrufled to lay out 
money are always obliged to give in their 
accounts to mew how each fum has been 
expended. 

It may not be improper here to take a 
.little notice of fome very late infmuations of 
my old envious friends. It has been fug- 
gefted that I am now grown immenfdy rich, 
and that having already more property than 
I can reafonably exped to live to expend, 
and no young family to provide for, I for 
thefe reafons ought to decline my bufmefs, 
and no longer engrofs trade to myfelf that 
A a 2 ought 



404 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. " 

ought to be divided into a number of chart* 
nels, and thus fupport many families. In 
anfwer to which I will obferve, that fome 
of thefe objeftors were in trade before me, 
and when I firft embarked in the profeffion 
of a bookfeller, defpifed me for my mean 
beginning. When afterwards I adopted my 
plan of felling cheap, and for ready-money 
only, they rrfade themfelves very merry at 
my expence, for expecting to fucceed by fo 
ridiculous a project, (as they in their confum- 
mate wifdom were pleafed to term it) and 
predefined my ruin, fo that no doubt I 
ought to comply with any thing they defire, 
however unreafonable it may appear to me. 

To deny that I have a competence, would 
be unpardonable ingratitude to the public, 
to go no higher ; 

" I want but little ; nor that little long." 

But to infmuate that I am getting money 
for no good purpofe, is falfe and invidious. 
The great apoflle St. Paul, who was an hum- 
ble follower of CHRIST, thought that he 
might be permitted to boafl of himfelf a lit* 

tie; 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 405 

tie ; after which I fuppofe it will not be 
thought very prefumptuous in me, if I 
ihould ftate a few facts, merely to juftify 
my conduct in carrying on my trade beyond 

the time that certain perfons would prefcribe 
to me. 

It is now about five years fince I began to 
entertain ferious thoughts of going out of 
buiinefs on account of the bad ftate of health 
which both Mrs. Lackington and myfelf 
have laboured under ; but it was then fug^ 
gefted by feveral of my friends, that as I had 
about fifty poor relations, 3 great number of 
whom are. children, others are old and nearly 
helplefs, and that all had juftly formed fome 
expectations from me : therefore to give up 
fuch a trade as I was in polfeffion of, before 
I was abfolutely obliged to do it, would be a 
kind of injufticc to thofe whom by the ties of 
blood I was in fome meafure bound to re- 
lieve and protect. Thefe and other con- 
fiderations induced me to wave the thoughts 
of precipitating myfelf out of fo extenfive 
lucrative a bufinefs; and in the mean 
A a 3 time 



4o6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

time I apply a part of the profits of it to 
maintain my good old mother, who is alive 
at Wellington in Somerfetfliire, her native 
place. I have two aged men and one aged 
woman, whom I fupport : and 1 have alfo 
four children to maintain and educate, three 
of thefe children have loft their Either, and 
alfo their mother, (who was my filler) the 
other child has both his parents living, but 
they are poor; many others of my relations 
are in the fame circumftances, and ftand in 
need of my affiftance. 

*' If e'er I've mourn'd my humble, lowly (late, 

" If e'er I've bow'd my knee at fortune 'sflirine, 
" If e'er a wifh efcap'd me to be great, 

" The fervent prayer humanity was thine. 
fc Perifh the man who hears the piteous tale 

" Unmov'd, to whom the heart-felt glow's unknown j 
" On whom the widow's plaints could ne'er prevail, 

" Nor made the injur'd wretches caufe his own. 
" How little knows he the extatic joy, 

" The thrilling blifs of cheering wan defpair! 
*' How little knows the pleafing warm employ, 

" That calls the grateful tribute of a tear. 
" The fplendid doine, the vaulted rock to rear, 

*.' The glare of pride and pomp, be, grandeur, thine I 
*,' To wipe from mifery's eye the wailing tear, 

'.' And foothe the oppreffed orphan's woe, be mine." 

It 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 407 

It has alfo been frequently faid, that by 
felling my books very cheap, I have mate- 
rially injured other bookfeliers both in town 
and country. But 1 ftill deny the charge : 
and here I will firft obferve, that I have as 
juft a reafon to complain of them for giving 
credit, as they can have for my felling cheap 
and giving no credit ; as it is well known 
that there are many thoufands of people 
every where to be found who will decline 
purchafing at a mop where credit is denied, 
when they can find (hopkeepers enough who 
will readily give it ; and as I frequently lofe 
cuftomers who having always been accuftom- 
ed to have credit, will not take the trouble 
to pay for every article as fent home , thefe 
of courfe deal at thofe (hops who follow the 
old mode of bufinefs ; fo that in fuch cafes, 
I might fay to the proprietors of thefe mops, 

* You ought not to give any perfon credit : 

* becaufe by fo doing you are taking cuf- 

* tomers from me.' As to my hurting the 
trade by felling cheap, they are, upon the 
whole miftaken ; for although no doubt 

A a 4 fome 



jfo8 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

fome inftances will occur, in which they 
may obferve that the preference is given to 
piy (hop, and the books purchafed of me on 
account of their being cheap, they never 
confider how many books they difpofe of on 
the very fame account. As, however, this 
may appear rather paradoxical, I will explain 
my meaning farther : 

I now fell more than one hundred thou- 
fand volumes annually ; many who purchafe 
part of thefe, do fo folely on account of their 
cheapnefs; many thoufands of thefe books 
would have been deftroyed, as I have before 
remarked, but for my felling them on thofe 
very moderate terms ; now when thoufands 
of thefe articles are fold, they become known 
by being handed about in various circles of 
acquaintances, many of whom wifliing to be 
poflefled of the fame books without enquiring 
the price of their friends, flep into the firil 
bookfeller's mop, and give their orders for 
articles which they never would have heard 
of, had not I, by felling them cheap, been 
the original caufe of their being difperfed 

abroad ; 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 409 

abroad j fo that by means of the plan pur- 
fued in my (hop, whole editions of books 
are fold off, and new editions printed of the 
works of authors, who but for that circum- 
ftance would have been fcarce noticed at all. 

But (fay they) you not only fell fuch 
books cheap, as are but little known, but 
you even fell a great deal under price the 
very firft-rate articles however well they 
may be known, or however highly they 
may be thought of by the literary world. I 
acknowledge the charge, and again repeat 
that as I do not give any credit, I really 
ought to do fo, and I may add, that in fome 
meafure I am obliged to do it ; for who 
would come out of their way to Chifwejl- 
ftreet to pay me the fame price in ready 
money, as they might purchafe for at the 
firft mop they came to, and have credit alfo, 

And although fir ft -rate authors are very 
well known, yet I well know that by felling 
them cheaper than others, many are pur- 
chafed of me that never would have been 

pvirchafed 



410 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

purchafed at the full price, and every book 
that is fold tends to fp read the fame of the 
author, and rapidly extends the fale, and as 
I before remarked, fends more cuftomers to 
other (hops as well as to my own. 

I could relate much more on this fubject, 
but will not unnecefTarily take up your time, 
as I truft what is here advanced will convey 
full conviction to your mind, and as I be- 
lieve it is univerfally known and allowed 
that no man ever promoted the fale of books 
in an equal degree, with, 



Dear Friend, 



Yours, 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 41 1 



LETTER XLI. 

" This is a traveller, Sir; knows men and manners; and 
" has plough'd up fea fo far, 'till both y the poles have 
" knock'd ; has feen the fun take coach, and can diftinguifh 
" the colour of his horfes, and their kinds, and had a Flan,. 
" ders mare leap'd there." 

BEAUMONT and FLITCHER'S Scornful Lady. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

AMONGST the variety of 
occurrences with which I have endeavoured 
to entertain you, perhaps not all equally in- 
terefting (and the moft material of them, I 
am duly fenfible, not entitling me to the 
claim of being efteemed a writer poflefTed of 
the very firft abilities this age or nation has 
produced,) I recollect my not yet having 
given you an account of my principal TRA- 
VELS. Poffibly you might very readily par- 
don that omiffion, as from what has already 
appeared it mutt be evident, the engagements 
which from time to time have fully en- 
grofled my attention, have not furnifhed me 

with 



4' 3 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

with any opportunity of making the tour of 
Europe, or tracing the fource of the river 
Nile, much lefs circumnavigating the glohe. 
And even Suppofing I had been poflefTed both 
of the time and inclination for fuch extenfive 
undertakings, the disadvantages which I la- 
bour under for want of having received a 
proper education, would have disqualified 
me from making fuch remarks and obferva- 
tions as naturally prefent themfelves to thofe 
who have been fortunate enough to poflefs 
that advantage, and of courfe are qualified to 
prefent the world with a variety of Subjects 
equally curious and inftructive : 'though it is 
not without reluctance I think it neceflary 
here to obferve, that fome of thefe gentle- 
men, not content with giving a true. account 
of what actually occurred to them, and fup- 
pofing that plain matter of fact would not 
be Sufficiently interefling to excite that Supe- 
rior degree of attention and admiration which 
they were ambitious as authors to acquire, 
they have thought proper to intermix So 
much of the marvellous into their narrations, 

as 



1IFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 413 

as has been the occafion of many perfons 
reading them with fuch diffidence, as to 
doubt the truth of many relations, which 
though really ftrictly confiftent with vera- 
city, yet being novel and uncommon, they 
were unwilling to credit, left they mould 
incur the cenfure of being pofleffed of a fu- 
perior degree of weaknefs and credulity? 
This I am alfo confident has induced many 
a 'modeft author to omit paflages, which 
though really true, he was cautious of pub- 
tifhing, from a fear of being fubjected to the 
fame fevere animadverfions, or what is ftill 
worfe, being fufpetted of wilfully impofing 
on his readers. Recent inftances of which, 
were it neceflary, I could adduce; but I 
ihall proceed with cautioning you from being 
alarmed left I mould fall into either of thefe 
errors j nothing very marvellous will occur in 
what I mean to prefent you with ; though 
I fhall not be intimidated from relating real 
fatts, from the apprehenfion of not being- 
credited. As an additional recommendation, 
(no doubt) the hiftory of my travels will be 

inter- 



414 UFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

interfperfed with fuch remarks on men and 
manners as have prefented themfelves to me 
during my peregrinations j and this I pre- 
vioufly warn you, will be done in m " ac- 
cuftomed defultory manner," from which as 

Mr. Pennant fays in his " Of London," 

(there is a concife title-page for you) " I am 
too old to depart," that is, as Dr. John/on 
might poffibly have explained it, " Sir, you 
are then too old to MEND." But you, my 
dear friend, are not fo faftidious a critic : 
although you may find the whole very dull, 
it mall not be very long ; fo that if it does 
not at as a cordial to enliven your Ipirits, it 
may (if read in the evening) prove a power- 
ful narcotic, and afford you fome pleafing 
dreams, when 

" Tir'd nature's fweet reftorer, balmy fleep, 
" His ready viiit pays." 

I fhall therefore not trouble you with a detail 
of bad roads, the impositions of innkeepers, 
what food 1 partook of, how many bottles of 
wine were drank, the height of fteeples, &c. 
a fufficiency of this, I trufl, has already ap- 

peare 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 415 

peared in different writers. Thus much by 
way of preparation for my journies. I now 
fet out. 

In September, Seventeen hundred and eighty- 
feven, I fet off for Edinburgh ; and in all the 
principal towns through which I pafled, was 
led from a motive of curiofiry, as well as with 
a view towards obtaining fome valuable pur- 
chafes, to examine the bookfellers mops for 
fcarce and curious books ; but although I 
went by the way of York, Newcaftle-upon- 
Tyne, &c, and returned through Glafgow, 
Carlifle, Leeds, Lancafter, Prefton, Man- 
chefter, and other confiderable places, I was 
much furprifed, as well as difappointed, at 
meeting with very few of the works of the 
moft efleemed authors ; and thofe few con- 
fifted in general of ordinary editions, befides 
an affemblage of common trifling books, 
bound iii fheep, and that too in a very bad 
manner. It is true, at York and Leeds 
there were a few (and but very few) good 
books ; but in all the other towns between 
London and Edinburgh nothing but tram 

was 



4t6 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

was to be found : in the latter city indeed, a 
few capital articles are kept, but in no other 
part of Scotland. 

In feventeen hundred and ninety, I re- 
peated my journey, and was much mortified 
to be under a neceffity of confirming my 
former obfervations. This remarkable de- 
ficiency in the article of books, is however 
not peculiar to the northern parts of Eng- 
land; as I have repeatedly travelled into the 
weftern parts, and found abundant caufe for 
diflatisfaftion on the fame account, fo that I 
may venture without fear of contradiction to 
aflert, that London, as in all other articles 
of commerce, is likewife the grand empo- 
rium of Great Britain for books, engroffing 
nearly the whole of what is valuable in that 
very extenfive, beneficial, and I may add 
lucrative branch of trade. As to Ireland, I 
fhall only obferve, that if the bookfellers in 
that part of the empire do not mine in the 
pofferlion of valuable books, they muft cer- 
tainly be allowed to poflefs fuperior induftry 
in reprinting the works of every Englifh au- 
thor 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 417 
thor of merit, as foon as published, and 
'very liberally endeavouring to difle initiate 
them, in a furreptitious manner through 
every part of our ifland, though the attempts 
now generally proves abortive, to the great 
lofs and injury of the ingenious projectors. 

At Newcaftle, I pafled a day or two in 
the year 1787, where I was much delighted 
with viewing a fingular phoenomenon in na- 
tural hiftory, namely the celebrated crows 
neft affixed above the weather cock, on the 
upper extremity of the fteeple, in the mar- 
ket-place. In the year 1 783, as I was well 
informed, the crows firft built this curious 
nefl, and fucceeded in hatching and rearing 
their young. In the following year they 
attempted to rebuild it : but a conteft en- 
fuing among fome of the fable fraternity, 
after a fierce engagement they were obliged 
to relinquifh it, and the neft was demolifhed 
by the victorious party before it was finimed. 
This bad fuccefs, however, did not deter the 
original builders and pofleflbrs from return- 
B t> "ing 



418 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ing in the year 1785, when they took quiet 
pofleffion of their freehold, rehuilt the pre- 
mifes, and reared another family. This they 
repeated the three following years with equal, 
fuccefs, and when I was there in the year 
1 790, much of the neft remained, but the 
crows had forfaken it. The above occur- 
rence, though to many it may appear incre- 
dible, is an undoubted fact. That crows 
Ihould come into the center of a populous 
town to build their nefts, is of itfelf remark- 
able ; but much more fo, that they fhould 
prefer a weathercock to any other fituation, 
where the whole family, and their habita- 
tion turned round with every puff of wind, 
though they were perfectly fecured from fal- 
ling, by the fpike of iron which rofe above 
the fane, around which the whole made 
their revolutions ; and as on one fide the nefl 
was higher than on the other, that part being 
always to windward, by this ingenious con- 
trivance of the feathered architects, the infide 
of the neft was conftantly kept in a proper 
degree of warmth. I never recoiled thefe 

various 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 419 

Various circumftances, without being loft in 
admiration at the extraordinary fagacity of 
thefe birds. 

In this town however, I met with a greater 
curiofity, as well as a more amiable fubjecT: 
of it than a crows neft, to excite my afto- 
nimment. 

In my firft journey, Mr. Ft/her the book- 
feller introduced me to his daughter, a 
charming young lady, who being unfortu- 
nately born deaf, was confequently dumb, 
till a gentleman a few years fince taught her 
to underftand what was faid to her by the 
motion of the lips. I had the pleafure of 
converging with her feveral times, and found 
that (he had much of the Scotch accent, 
which as Mr. Fimer informed me, (he ac- 
quired of the gentleman who taught her not 
only to underftand the converfation of others 
buttojpeak, he being a native of that coun- 
try ; he remarked alfb, that me never had 
fpoken the Newcaftle dialed. This young 
lady, I was alfo informed, dances exceedingly 
Bb 2 well, 



*2o LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

well, keeping exact time with the muiic, 
whether it is played flow or qvu'ck. When 
it is confidered what an intenfe application 
muft have been ufed, both on the part of the 
teacher and his fair pupil, to produce fuch 
a happy effect, it furely reflects great credit 
on each of the parties. . 

In the year 1790, when I again vifited 
Newcaftle with Mrs. Lackington, this young 
lady became the frrft object of inquiry, and 
we were both introduced to her. 

1 have lately been informed of a lady now 
in London, who although fKe is deaf, takes 
great delight in mu/tc, and when afked how 
me is affected by it, me anfwers that (he feels 
it at her breajl and at the bottom of her feet. 

Being on the fubject of Curio/ities, and 
having juft related the pleafure I experienced 
on account of a lady acquiring the ufe of 
Ipeech, permit me now to prefent you with 
another rarity indeed ! fomewhat connected 
with the former, no doubt, but intended as 
an effectual remedy (temporary r at leaft) for 

an 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 421 

an oppofite complaint of the lame organs, viz. 
too great a volubility of fpecch, with which, 
(as it is faid) many females are fo infected, 
as fometimes to lead them to exceed the 
bounds of due moderation and female deco- 
rum, and even difplay itfelf in the utterance 
of fuch harfh (though frequently inarticu- 
late) terms, as tend too much to difgrace the 
unhappy patient, and violently affect the au- 
ditory nerves of all perfons within a confide- 
rable diftance. To quit metaphor. 

At the town-hall I was fhewn a piece of 
antiquity called a brank. It confifts of a com- 
bination of iron fillets, and is fattened to the 
head by a Jock fixed to the back part of it ; a 
thin plate of iron goes into the mouth, fuf- 
ficiently flrong however, to confine the 
tongue, and thus prevent the wearer from 
making any ufe of that reftleft member. 
The ufe of this piece of machinery is to 
punim notorious/^fr. I am pleafed to find 
that it is now confidereq merely as a matter 
ofcuriofity, the females of that town hap- 
pily having not tiie fmalleft occafion for the 
B b 3 appli^ 



422 LIFE OF J, LACKINGTON, 

application of fo harfh an inftrument : whe- 
ther it is that all females apprehenfive of 
being included in that defcription, have tra- 
velled fouthward, to avoid the danger of fo 
degrading an exhibition, or whatever other 
reafon is affigned, I forgot to enquire. It 
however affords me pleafure to reflect, that 
the ladies of Newcaftle are left at liberty to 
adopt a head-drefs of their own encoring, 
confident that they porTefs a more refined tafte 
than to fix upon one by no means calculated 
to difplay their lovely countenances to advan- 
tage, as I am perfuaded the brank would caft 
fuch a gloom on the faireft of them, as would 
tend much to diminifh the influence of their 
charmSj, and give pain to every beholder. It 
may be prudent, notwithftanding, frill to 
preferve it in terrorem, as who knows what 
future times may produce ? As I efteem it a 
very ingenious contrivance, and as there may 
be parts of the country ftill to be found, 
where the application of fuch a machine may 
be ufeful in fome chriftian families (I will 
not fay in , a//, having fufricient grounds for 

afferting 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 423 

aflerting the contrary) I here prefent you 
with an accurate fketch of it, 




together with the manner of its application : 
that if any ingenious artift mould be applied 
to, he may not he at a lofs how it is to he 
made. I would, however, advife fuch a one 
to be cautious in offering them to public fale, 
and by no means to advertife them (efpecially 
if a married man, or having any views to- 
wards matrimony). 



J am, dear Friend, 



Yours. 



424 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON> 



LETTER XLII. 

" O, land of cakes ! how oft my eyes 

te Defirc to fee thy mountains rife ; 

" How Fancy loves thy fteeps to dimb, 

" So wild, fo folemn, fo fublime." 

" All the ftage-coaches that travel fo faft, 

" Muft get now and then an unfortunate caft." 

DEAR FRIEND, 

1.N my firft journey to Scotland 
I fometimes travelled poft, but often entered 
the different, ftage-coaches, &c. for aftage or 
two, when I happened to fee any fetting out 
fo as to fuit my time and inclination : but at 
laft I had pretty nearly paid dear for it, as 
the driver of the diligence from Darlington 
to Durham happened to be much inebriated 
and before his quitting Darlington had almoft 
overfet us ; not obferving the man was drunk, 
we attributed the fault to the horfes, we 
were however very fpeedily undeceived in that 
refpect by many concurrent circumftances, fo 

that 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 425 

that we were one minute nearly in the ditch 
on the right hand, and the next but juft 
efcaping that on the left ; at other times we 
experienced^/7>/#g- proofs of the inability of 
our condu&or againft the numbers of one- 
horfe coal-carts, not to mention their fre- 
quently running foul of us for being on the 
wrong fide of the road ; (for drivers of 
coaches and carts can be to the full as favage 
towards each other in the country, as in 
London) : however notwithstanding all thefe 
** hair-breadth efcapes," we retained our feats, 
till we arrived within three quarters of a mile 
of Durham, when at lengh the fpecific gra- 
vity of the driver's head preponderating over 
all the other parts of his frame united, preci- 
pitated him with violence from the elevated 
ftation he had, till then (though with diffi- 
culty) poflefled to his parent earth. There 
were three unfortunate paffengers in the car- 
riage, left to the difcretion of the horfes, viz. 
a gentleman, an innkeeper's wife, and your 
humble fervant : the lady in ftricT: compliance 
with the practice of her fex in fimilar fitua^ 

tions, 



426 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. - 

tions, on feeing the rapid defcent of our cha- 
rioteer, immediately honoured us with a 
loud and mrill fhriek ; the quadrupeds^ not 
accuftomed to this pretty female note fo 
much as the fonorous voice of a coachman, 
miftook for a fignal to mend their pace, and 
they, habituated to pay all due obedience to 
the commands of their fuperiors of the biped 
creation, when underftood by them, and 
finding no check, inftantiy proceeded to a 
full gallop ; and we, however reluctantly, 
followed them down a gentle defcent, not at 
a gentle rate, but with prodigious velocity. 
As I was quite calm and collected, I coolly 
reconnoitred the road before us, and obferv- 
ing that it was perfectly clear, as for half a 
mile not a coal- cart was to be feen, although 
we had lately pafled feveral fcore, I began to 
reafon with my companions, and they fpeedily 
became calm enough to affift in holding a 
council what was befl to be done in our cri- 
tical fituation. Our debates were quickly 
ended, as we were unanimous in opinion that 
if we once entered the city of Durham, the 

carriage 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 427 

carnage muft inevitably be torn to pieces, 
owing to the variety of turnings and obftruc- 
tions we fhould have to encounter, we there- 
fore entered into an immediate refolution, 
nem. con, that to open the doors, and exhibit 
our agility by leaping out, was, of " two 
evils, choofing the leaft ;" this we inftantly 
did, in as careful a manner as poffible ; we 
firft alighted on our feet, and next compli- 
mented the ground with our nofes, without 
receiving much injury. Our female compa- 
nion indeed, by being rather too precipitate, 
alighted in a manner which on any other 
pccafion would not have appeared ftriclly 
decent, of which (he, poor lady ! was fb 
fenfible, that fhe immediately " hoped (if 
how we were both married gentlemen;'* 
which was quickly replied to by both in the 
affirmative ; and thus we faved our fair one 
the trouble of exerting herfelf in another 
fcream, and ouf-felves the punimment of 
hearing it. 

Being 



428 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Being no longer parties concerned in the 
danger, it afforded us fome entertainment to 
obferve the progrefs of our vehicle now coil*- 
iiderably lightened by our efcape from it, and 
becoming every moment flill lighter by the 
exclufion of fmall trunks, boxes, parcels, 
great coats, &c. they, in imitation of our 
example making leaps, fome from the infide 
of the carriage, and others from the boot ; 
whether occaftoned by the repuljlon of the 
carriage and its appendages, or the attraction 
of the earth, I am not fufficiently verfed iu 
philofophy to decide. Pofterity when they 
perufe my labours, no doubt will determine 
this weighty point, and tranfmit it to the 
remoteft period of time, properly dignified 
by F. R. S. in Phil Tranf. 

The horfes finding themfelves lefs incum- 
bered and urged on by the noife of the door, 
continually flapping, increafed their fpeed : 
happily however the carriage was flopped 
before it entered the city, and no damage was 
fuftained either by the horfes or the carnage. 

Before 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 429 

Before we left the inn, our careful Jon of 
the whip arrived, not in the lead injur- 
ed, but rather benefited by his difafter, 
being fuddenly transformed into a ftate of 
perfe*5l lobriety ; after him followed two 
countrymen laden with the feveral articles 
which had been fo violently ejeded. As I 
reflected that this unguarded man might not 
always be equally fuccefsful,, either to him- 
felf or his paflengers, as in the prefent in- 
ftance, I obtained a promife from the inn- 
keeper never to permit him to drive any car- 
riage in future, in the management of which 
he had any concern. 

It is aftonifhing what a number of fatal 
accidents continually happen from careleilhefs 
and the want of fobriety in this thoughtlefs 
race of beings. I was informed that only 
two days previous to my arrival at Durham, 
a coachman quitting his box to ftep into an 
adjacent houfe, in his abfence the horfes be- 
gan to move gently, and a lady in the car- 
riage giving a loud fcream, the noife occa- 

fioned 



430 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOlSf. 

fioned the horfes to fet off full gallop, in con* 
fequence of which a lady of Durham, hap- 
pening unfortunately at that inftant to be 
croffing the way, was thrown down, and the 
wheels pafling over her, fhe died on the fpot. 
One of the many melancholy effects refult- 
ing from the ridiculous practice of fcreaming. 
But I crave pardon of the ladies ; when I 
begin paffing cenfure on them, it is high 
time to clofe my epiftle (which if not very 
long will perhaps be deemed fufficiently im- 
pertinent) with, 

1 am, 

Dear Friend > 

Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 43, 



LETTER XLIII. 

*-* O that the too cenforious world would learn 

'* This wholefome rule, and with each other bear ! 

" But man, as if a foe to his own fpecies, 

" Takes pleafure to report his neighbour's faults, 

" Judging with rigour ev'ry fraall offence, 

" And prides kimfelfvh fcandal." 

HAYWOOD'S D. of Brunfwick. 
" A nation fam'd for fong, and beauty's charms ; 
fc Zealous, yet modeft, innocent, though free : 
Patient of toil j fincere amidft alarms ; 
** Inflexible in faith : invincible in arms." 

3EATTiE'sMjnftrel, 

DEAR FRIEND, 

AT is reported of a very emi- 
nent author, that he never blotted a line of 
what he had once written : on which it has 
been remarked, that it was a pity he had not 
blotted a thoufand. Now though my ex- 
treme modefly will not -permit me to put 
myfelf on a level with that great man as an 
author, whatever the impartial world may 
think of our comparative merits, I muft 

confefs 



43* LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

confefs I do not like to blot what I have 
once written, fearful left when I begin, 
(another proof of my modefty,) I fhould 
deface the major part of my manufcripts, 
and thus deprive the public of the great 
advantages which may refult from them. 
What I allude to, is an unfortunate flip of 
the pen in my laft ; however, as " confef- 
fion of a fault makes fome amends," and I 
immediately checked myfelf, craved pardon, 
abruptly clofed my letter, and threw the 
offending pen from me with fome degree of 
auger, I hope thofe lovely fair ones, who 
might think I meant to affront them, will 
with their accuftomed benignity forgive, and 
indulge me with a fmile on my future la- 
bours; and as a convincing proof how fen- 
iible I am of their kind condefcenfion, I here 
engage never more to exprefs my diflike of 
t\\z\t Jer earning, except they fhould omit pur- 
chafing books of me, which I am fure every 
candid fair (and what fair one is not candid ?) 
will think fufficiently provoking. 

But 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 433 

But in order to remind them that every 
great character does not always conduct him- 
felf with equal politenefs towards the ladies, I 
beg permiffion to introduce a very great man 
to them : no lefs a perfonage than Doctor 
JOHNSON. Of whom indeed fo much hath 
already been fung and faid, that the fubject 
may be fuppofed to be nearly exhaufted ; 
which is, however, fo far from being the 
cafe, that notwithftanding two quarto vo- 
lumes of his life by Mr. Bofwell are juft 
publifhed, we are taught to expect another 
life by a different hand. Indeed until fome 
other great man makes his exit (myfelf out 
of the queftion) we are likely to be enter- 
tained with frefh anecdotes of him ; but 
when that period once arrives, then farewel 
Johnfon I 

The Doftor, whole extreme fondnefs for 
that agreeable beverage tea, is well known, 
was once in company with a number of 
ladies aflembled to partake with him of the 
fame refrefhment. The lady of the houfe 
happened to be one of thofe particularly at- 
C c tentive 



434 LIFE OF J. LACKINCTON. 

tentive to punctilio, and had exhibited her 
fmeft fet of china for the entertainment of 
her gueftsj the Doctor, who drank large 
quantities, and with considerable expedition, 
could not always wait with becoming pa- 
tience ceremonioufly to aik for and receive 
in due form the addition of a lump of fugar 
when neceffary; he therefore without per- 
miflion put his finger and thumb into the 
fugar-difh, tumbling the contents over, till 
he met with a piece of the proper fize ; the 
lady kept her eye fixed on him the whole 
time, and deeming his conduct a great breach 
of decorum, refolved to make him fenfible 
of it, by immediately ordering the fervant 
to change the fugar-difh. The Doctor, tho' 
apparently attentive only to his tea, noticed 
it, and as foon as he had emptied the cup, 
put it together with the faucer under the 
fire-place, with due care, however, not to 
break them. This was too fevere a trial for 
the poor lady, who, apprehenfive for the 
fate of her dear china, after a decent fcream, 
with warmth demanded the reafou of his 

treating 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 435 

treating her in fo rude a manner. " Why, 
" my dear madam, (replied he) I was 
" alarmed with the idea that whatever I 
" touched was thereby contaminated, and 
" imprefled with anxious defire to contri- 
" bute towards your felicity, I removed the 
" object fo defiled from your prefence with 
" all poflible expedition." This reply, tho' 
it extorted a fmile from all the company 
prefent, did not fatisfy the lady to whom it 
was addreffed, who notwithftanding me ex- 
erted herfelf to appear in good humour, was 
too much offended to forget the affront. 
This anecdote has been related to me with 
fome addenda which heighten the flory, 
though more to the difadvantage of the 
Doctor ; but I believe as here related, it 
may be depended on as the real fact. 

During my continuance in Scotland, 
which was about three weeks the firft time, 
and about a month the laft, I often reflected 
with pain on the illiberal, not to fay brutal 
treatment the inhabitants received from the 
Doctor. At Edinburgh I heard various anec- 
C c 2 dotes 



436 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

dotes related of him, which were perfectly 

novel to me, and in all probability will be 

fo to you. I mall therefore give you a 

fpecimen. 

Being one day at a gentleman's houfe in 
Edinburgh, feveral lav-lies and gentlemen 
came in to pay their relpects to him ; and 
among others the then Lord Provoft went 
up to the Doctor, bowing repeatedly, and 
exprefling the higheft refpect for him ; to all 
which the Doctor paid not the lead atten- 
tion. Exceedingly hurt at fo flagrant a 
mark of difrefpect, he turned round, and 
put a {hilling into the hand of the gentle- 
man of the houfe. -On being aiked what the 
milling was intended for, he replied, "Have 
not 1 feen your bear?" 

The Doctor being drinking tea at another 
gentleman's houfe, the lady afked him if he 
did not choofe another cup : It feems fhe 
had forgot her having before afked him the 
fame queftion ; and on her repeating it he 
replied, " Woman, have I not already told 

you 



ILIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 437 

you that I had done?" On which the 
lady anfwered him in his own gruff man- 
ner. During his continuance in her houfe 
fhe always talked to him without ceremony, 
and it was remarked that me had more 
influence with him than any other perfon in 
Scotland. 

I was much pleafed with the politenefs of 
the gentleman who related to me this ftory 
of the Doclor, as he appeared anxious to ex- 
cufe him for his want of due decorum, and 
thus to palliate a moft obvious blemifh in 
the character of one of the moft eminent of 
my countrymen. I could wifh the compilers 
of the biographical department of that truly 
great and ufeful work, the " E-ncyclopoedia 
Britannica" would obferve the fame polite- 
nefs and impartiality. And I hope that this 
hint will alib induce them in fome fubfequent 
edition, when I am gone to 

" That Bourne from whence no traveller returns," 

to do juftice to my great and qftoni/Jjing me- 
rits, by way of compenfation for having fal- 
C c 3 leu 



438 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

len fhort in fpeaking of other great men\ and 
fhould I happen to be out of print by the time 
the editors of the Elographia Erltannka ar- 
rive at letter L. (which feems extremely pro- 
bable, according to the very deliberate pro- 
grefs of that work,) I hope they will not 
flightly pafs me over. If they fhould,, let 
them take the coniequence ; as 1 here give 
them fair and timely notice, and they have 
not to plead as an excufe, the want of 
materials. 

I will give you one anecdote more of the 
great Doctor, becaufe it relates to a Scotch- 
man very eminent in the literary world. I 
had it from Mr. Samuel, who was one of 
the party. 

Dr. Johnlon being one afternoon at the 
houfeof Mr. Samuel's uncle, (whofe name I 
have forgot) who lived in one of the flreets 
that leads from the Strand to the Thames, 
a number of gentlemen being prefent, they 
agreed to crofs the water and make a little 
excurfion on the other fide ; in ftepping into 

the 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 439 

the boat one of the company faid, Mr. 
Hume, give me your hand. As foon as they 
were feated, our Doctor afked Mr. Samuel if 
that was Hume the Deift. Mr. Samuel re- 
plied, that it was the great Mr. Hume, the 
deep metaphyiician and famous hiftorian. 
Had I known that (fajd the Doctor) I would 
not have put a foot" in the boat with him. 
In the evening they had all agreed to fup 
together at a houfe near St. Clement's 
Church in the Strand, and Doctor Johnfon 
coming in after the reft of the company had 
fometime been met, he walked up to Mr. 
Hume, and taking him by the hand, faid, 
" Mr. Hume, I am very glad to fee you," 
and feemed well pleafed to find him there ; and 
it appeared to Mr. Samuel, that the Doctor 
had thus chofe to atone for his hafty expref- 
flon before related. 

As I do not recollect any thing being re- 
corded reflecting the Doctor's pugiliftrl abi- 
lities, (excepting his knocking down Ofborn 
the bookfeller, be confidered as fiich) I lhall 
beg leave to relate another anecdote which I 
C c 4 received 



440 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

received from the gentleman who favoured 
me with the preceding one. 

Dr. Johnfon being at the water fide when 
fome ladies had julr. quitted a boat and were 
endeavouring to fettle the fare with the wa- 
terman, this fon of the Thames, like too 
many of his brethren, infifted on much 
more than his due, accompanying his de- 
mand in the ufual ftile of eloquence, with 
abufive language, the Doctor kindly inter- 
fering, furnifhed the ladies with the oppor- 
tunity of retreating, and transferred the 
whole abufe to himfelf, who finding that 
argument had made no impreflion on the 
waterman, tried what he could effect by the 
flrength of his arm, and gave the refractory 
fellow a hearty drubbing, which had the 
defired effect. 

+ 

One word more concerning our great Lexi- 
cographer. It mu ft be allowed by every 
candid and impartial perfon, that the extreme 
contempt and prejudice he entertained to- 
wards onr friends of North Britain, reflected 

a very 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON, 44.1 

a very flrong fhade on his charafter, which 
his warmefl admirers cannot juftify. 

Were I, as a South Briton, called upon to 
give my fair and unprejudiced opinion refpecl:- 
ing the national character of the natives of 
Scotland and thofe of England, and I flatter 
myfelf I have had ample opportunities of ob- 
ierving the peculiar traits of both countries, 
I would fay, that if we in England excel 
them in fome virtues, they no lefs mine in 
others ; and if the North-Britons poflefs fome 
peculiar frailties and prejudices, we of the 
South are not intirely free from ours ; fo that 
were the virtues and vices of a certain num- 
ber of each country placed in an hydroftatical 
balance (it muft however be a pretty large 
one,) I believe it very difficult to prognofti- 
cate which of the two w r ould preponderate. 
It is true, I have met with one very great 
villain in Scotland, in Mr. S. vvhich only 
tends to prove there are probably fcoundrels 
to be found every where, and that without 
taking the trouble which Diogenes did, in 
fearch of an honcjl man ; and I am much 

afraid, 



442 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

afraid, were I to enquire of fome North 
Britons, they could without any great diffi- 
culty point out to me fome of my own 
countrymen as bad. 

I deteft all national prejudices, as I think 
it betrays great weaknefs in the parties who 
are influenced by them. Every nation of 
the habitable globe, nay each particular pro- 
vince of thofe countries has certainly fome 
peculiar traits belonging to it which diftin- 
guilhes it from its neighbours. But if we 
are difpofed to view one another with the 
feverity of criticifm, how eafy, nay how 
frequent it is to difcover fuperior virtues (as 
we think) as well as abilities in that particu- 
lar fpot which gave birth to ourfelves, and 
equally diverted of that fbricl: impartiality 
which alone can enable us to judge properly, 
difcover proportionable blemifhes in the na- 
tives of other countries. 

" But travellers who want the ov/// 
*' To mark the fhapes of good and ill, 
" With vacant ftare thro' Europe range, 
" And deem all bad, becaufe 'tis ftrange, 

Tfcco 1 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 44$ 

" Thro' varying modes of life, we trace 

" The finer trait, the latent grace, 

tr Quite free from fpleen's incumb'ring load, 

' At little evils on the road ; 

" So while the path oflife I tread, 

" A path to me with briars fpread ; 

" Let me its tangled mazes fpy, 

" Like you, with gay, good humour eye, 

*' And be my fpirit light as air, 

" Call life a jeft, and laugh at care." 

Ill faying thus much, I do not mean to 
infer, that we ought not to be infpired with 
a laudable ambition to excel, not thofe of 
other countries only, but even thofe with 
whom we are more intimately connected : 
but that mould be done without drawing in- 
vidious companions of the merits or deme- 
nts of others. In mort, let it be the earned 
endeavour of each country, and every indi- 
vidual of that country in particular, united 
under our amiable monarch, to ftrive which 
mail have a fuperior claim to the title of be- 
ing GOOD MEN, ufeful members of fociety, 
friends to the whole human race, and peace- 
able fubjec"ts of a government, which though 
not abfolutely in a flate of perfection (and 

can 



444 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

can that man be really deemed wife who ex- 
pe&s to meet with perfection in any human 
eftablimment ?) is flill happily fuperipr to 
every other in the known world, not forget- 
ting our neighbours the French, our natural 
enemies, according to the long adopted lan- 
guage of national prejudice : but I hope that 
narrow minded difpofition will henceforth 
ceafe ; certainly nature never defigned us as 
enemies, it has placed our ftations near to 
each other, and furely there is not fo great a 
diffimilarity in our national traits of charac- 
ter, as to occafion us to be in perpetual en- 
mity ! The contrail now is lefs than ever. 
Like Britons, they have caught the fpark of 
freedom, and nobly emancipated themfelves 
from a ftate of abject and degrading ilavery, 
to a diftinguifhed and honourable rank among 
nations. Long as time (hall laft, may they, 
with us, enjoy the bleffing fo glorioufly ob^ 
tained, with that due moderation which al- 
ways properly diftinguifhes between liberty 
and hcenlioufnefs ! The friends of liberty me^ 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 445 

rit the full enjoyment of every advantage at- 
tending it; thofe of licentioujnefs are unwor- 
thy the fmalleft (hare of it. 

But whither am I travelling f I am imper* 
ceptibly got into the road of politics. Coach- 
man ! turn off immediately into another road. 
*Tis done, and happy am I to get out of 
fo dangerous a track unhurt, which has broke 
the necks of numbers of clever fellows, and 
deprived many a bright genius of that fupe- 
rior part of HIM from whence all his bright 
efTuiions for the good of his country were 
emitted. For patriotifm (as you know) is 
always the motive which impels thofe wor- 
thies to fuch hazardous expeditions as have 
fo frequently in the event proved fatal to 
them. For proofs we need not confult hif- 
tory ; inftances are, alas ! frelh in our me- 
mories: witnefs London, 1780, and Bir- 
mingham, 1791. 

At all events, it is certainly too rugged a 
road for a bookfeller to travel, it being al- 
ready 



446 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtf. 

ready crowded with many much abler adven- 
turers. And whilft Mr. Burke, of the 
" Monarchy" (late of the ' Fox") Inn, 
and Mr. Paine, at the fign of " the RIGHTS 
of MAN" provide rich and ample entertain- 
ment for " men and cattle," let the public 
take their choice, or if they pleaie (which 
indeed appears to be the moft rational mode) 
try them both, as fome conflitutions find one 
kind of food more eafy of dlgejllon^ Ibme the 
other : and I remain fully fatisfied with the 
fubordinate character of continuing an hum- 
ble distributor of the viands provided by thofe 
and other very able caterers, and that upon 
eafier terms than the admirers of fuch food 
will meet with elfewhere, according to the 
elegance or plainnefs of the d/JJxs they are 
ferved up in. Some preferring rich foreign 
china, elegantly gilt ; others, good fubftantia! 
Englifh porcelain ; others, 2gain being pleafecl 
with Queen s ivare ; and many more content 
with a Welch di/Ii, or common earthen ware. 

I am now fuddenly conveyed again to 
Edinburgh. The old town, fo called, has 

not 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 447 

not much to bonft of; but the new town is 
by far the moft compleat and elegant I ever 
faw. In various towns of England and Scot- 
land, I have indeed feen fome good ftreets, 
and many good houfes, but in this the whole 
is uniformly fine; not one houfe, much lefs 
a whole flreet that can be termed indifferent 
in the whole town. 

And here let me do juftice to North- 
Britim hofpitality, and their very polite at- 
tention to fuch Englishmen who happen to 
travel to the " land of cakes." I can truly 
fay, that the polite and friendly behaviour 
of the inhabitants towards Mrs. Lackington 
and myfelf, claims our warmeft gratitude 
and fincereft thanks. This the more civilized 
part of my countrymen will readily believe ; 
and as to thofe of another defcription (hap- 
pily but a comparatively fmall number, I 
truft) are welcome to treat my aflertion with 
that contempt ufually attendant on prejudice, 
which is the refult of ignorance. 

The 



448 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

The fubjeft I now mean to enter into 
being a delicate one, permit me here to clofe 
my letter ; thus affording you a mort refpite, 
and myfelf a little time for confideration on 
the propriety of fubmitting my ideas (as you 
feem determined all thofe I fend you mall be) 
to public notice. 



I am. 



Dear Friend, 



Yours. 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 449 



LETTER XLIV. 

' Set woman in his eye, and in his walk, 

" Among daughters of men the faireft found, 

" Many are in each region paffing fair 

" As the noon fky, more like to goddeffes 

" Than mortal creatures ; graceful and difcreet, 

ft Expert in amorous arts, inchanting tongues : 

" Perfuafive, virgin raajefty, with mild 

" And fweet allay 'd, yet terrible to approach ; 

f( Skill'd to retire, and in retiring', draw 

" Hearts after them, tangl'd in amorous nets ; 

" Such objects have the power to foften and tame 

" Severed temper, fmooth the rugged'ft brow, 

" Enerve and with voluptuous hope diffolve ; 

" Draw out with credulous defire, 

" At will, the manlieft refoluteft breaft." 

MILTON'S Samfon Agoniftes. 

DEAR FRIEND, 

J.N my laft I exprefTed fbme 
diffidence refpecling the propriety of com- 
mitting to paper my thoughts on a particular 
fubjecT: ; I have fince weighed it with due 
caution, and the confideration of my having 
during the long courfe of my epiftolary cor- 
D d refpondencc 



450 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

refpondence always declared my fentiments 
freely on every fubjec"l, foon determined me 
not to degrade myfelf by fhrinking back, now 
it is fo near drawing to a conclufion. 

The fubject then is that bright lovely- 
part of the creation, WOMAN! the fource 
of all our joys, the afTuagers of all our 
griefs ; deprived of whofe powerful and at- 
tractive charms, man would be a wretch 
indeed. But alas ! the utmofl efforts of my 
abilities are far inadequate to do juftice to 
their merits; happily that pleafing theme 
has engaged the attention of the ableft and 
worthiefl of men, from the remoteil period 
down to the prefent time ; and I truft ever 
will, nay muft, fo long as a fpark of virtue 
remains to dwell in the human breaft. And 
when I reflect, that 

" They are not only FAIR, but j UST as fair/' 

1 have nought to fear. 

I therefore proceed with cheerfulnefs to 
fay, that in Edinburgh, Glaigow, Stir- 
ling, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 451 

ling, &c. there are more really fine women 
to be found than in any place I ever vifited. 
I do not mean to infer, we have not as 
many handfome women in England ; but 
the idea I wifh to convey is, that we have 
not fo many in proportion : that 'is, Go to 
any public place where a number of ladies 
are aflembled, in either of the above towns, 
and then go to any place in England where 
an equal number are met, and you will no- 
tice a greater number of fine women among 
the former, than among the latter. It muft 
be obvious that in making this declaration, I 
allude to the genteeler part ; for among the 
lower clafles of women in Scotland, by being 
more expofed to the inclemency of the wea- 
ther, the majority are very homely, and the 
want of the advantages of apparel, (which 
thofe in a higher fphere can avail themfelves 
of, and know how to apply) together with 
their fluttim and negligent appearance, does 
not tend in the leail to heighten their 
charms. 

D d 2 Having 



452 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Having both read and heard much related 
of the manner of warning their linen, which 
I muft confefs I would not credit without 
having ocular demonftration, during my 
continuance at Glafgow, curiofity led me to 
the mead by the river fide. For the poor 
women here, inftead of the water coming to 
them, as in London, are obliged to travel 
loaded with their linen to the water ; where 
you may daily fee great numbers warning, 
in their way ; which if feen by fome of our 
London prudes, would incline them to form 
very unjuft and uncharitable ideas of the mo- 
defty of thefe Scottim lafTes, Many of them 
give a trifle to be accommodated with the 
ufe of a large wam-houfe near the water, 
where about a hundred may be furnifhed 
with every convenience for their purpofe. 
But by far the greateft part make fires, and 
heat the water in the open air, and as they 
finifh. their linen, they fpread it on the grafs 
to dry ; which is the univerfal mode of drying 
throughout Scotland. Here the 

'* Maidens bleach their fummer fmocks." 

I had 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 453 

I had walked to and fro feveral times, and 
began to conclude that the cuftom of getting 
into the tubs and treacling on the linen, 
either never had been pracHied, or was come 
into difufe ; but I had not waited more than 
half an hour, when many of them jumped 
into the tubs, without fhoes or {lockings, 
with their fhifts and petticoats drawn up far 
above the knees, and ftamped away with 
great compofure in their countenances, and 
with all their ftrength, no Scotchman taking 
the leaft notice, or even looking towards 
them, conftant habit having rendered the 
fcene perfectly familiar. 

On converting with fome gentlemen of 
Glafgow on this curious fubject, they aflured 
me that thefe fingular laundreiTes (as they ap- 
peared to me) were ftridly modeft women, 
who only did what others of nnblemimed re- 
putation had been accuftomed to for a long 
feries of years \ and added, that at any other 
time a purfe of gold would not tempt them 
to draw the curtain fo high. By way of 
contraft, let me obferve that many of our 
D d $ London 



454 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

London fervant-flw/^/j, though not always fo 
nice in other refpefts, would not be feen 
thus habited in public on any terms, lefl 
their precious characters fhould be called in 
queftion. A ftriking inflance of the power- 
ful influence of habit ! Pom fret fays, 

" Cuftom's the world's great idol we adore, 

" And knowing that we feek to know no more.'' 

Mod of the female fervants in Edinburgh, 
Glafgow, &c. do all their work, and run 
about the town the fore part of the day with- 
out flays, fhoes or ftockings ; and on Sun- 
days I faw the country-women going to 
Ward's Kirk, in the fame manner (ftays ex- 
cepted ;) however they do not go into kirk, 
till they have drefled their legs and feet j for 
that purpofe they feat themfelves on the 
grafs, fomewhere near, put on their fhoes 
and ftockings, and garter up very delibe- 
rately, 

" Nor heed the paflenger who looks that way." 

Moft of thefe poor young country-women 
go without any caps or hats ; they have in 

general 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 455 

general fine heads of hair, many plait it, 
others let it hang loofe down their backs; 
and I afliire you, my friend, they look very 
agreeable. 

I returned each time through Buxton, 
where flaying a week or two, I vifited 
Caftleton, and fpent feveral hours in ex- 
ploring that ftnpendous cavern, called The 
Devil's A in the Peak. I aifo furveyed 
Poole's Hole, near Buxton, and purchafed a 
great variety of petrifactions. In our way 
home I faw the great marble manufactory at 
Afton, in the water, fpent fome days at 
Matlock, the moft romantic village that I 
ever faw, but the fight of it coft me dear ; 
as we were conveyed there in an old crazy 
poft-chaife, in which I caught a violent cold, 
the lining being very damp. 

J am, 

Dear Friend, 

Yours. 

D d 4 LETTER 



456 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 



LETTER XLV. 

" Good fcen expefted, evil unforefeen, 
" Appear by turns as fortune mifts the fcene : 
" Some rais'd aloft come tumbling down amain, 
" Then fall fo hard, they bound and rife again." 

DRY DEN'S Virgil. 
" New turns and changes every day 

*' Are of inconftant chance the conftant arts; 
" Soon fortune gives, foon takes away, 

* She comes, embraces, naufeates you, and parts. 
t( But if me ftays or if me goes, 

' The wife man little joy or little forrow knows; 
" For over all there hangs a doubtful fate, 

' And few there be who 're always fortunate. 
'* One gains by what another is bereft : 

f The frugal deftinies have only left 
* A common bank of happinefs below, 

" Maintain'd, like nature, by an ebb and flow." 

How's Indian Emp. 

PEAR FRIEND, 

JL Did not intend to trouble 
you or the public with an account of any 
more of my wonderful travels , but being now 
at Lyme, for want of other amufements this 

rainy 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 457 

rainy morning, I thought that a mort ac- 
count of this journey might afford you fome 
entertainment. 

My ftate of health being but indifferent, 
and Mrs. Lackington's ftill worfe, I was in- 
duced to try what effect a journey would pro- 
duce ; it being immaterial what part I travel- 
led to ; and as I had not for a long time feen 
my native place, and perhaps might not be 
furnimed with another opportunity, we re- 
folved to vifit it. 

*' And many a year elaps'd, return to view 
" Where once the cottage ftood, the hawthorn grew, 
" Rememberance wakes with all her bufy train, 
" Swells at my breaft ' 

<f I ftill had hopes, for pride attends us itill, 
f Amidft the fwains to (hew my book-learn'd flcill, 
" Yes, let the rich deride, with proud difdain 
' The fimple bleffings of the lowly train, 
' To me more dear, congenial to my heart, 
" One native charm, than all the glofs of art; 
" Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, 
" The foul adopts, and owns their firft-born fwaj : 
' Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind, 
V ynenvy'd, unmolefted, uncoofin'd." 

GOLDSMITH. 

Accordingly 



458 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Accordingly in July laft, 1791, we fet 
out from Merton, which I now make my 
chief refidence, taking Bath, Briftol, &c. in 
our way to my native place Wellington. 

In Briftol, Exbridge, Bridgewater, Taun- 
ton, Wellington, and other places, I amufed 
myfelf in calling on fome of my matters, 
with whom I had about twenty years before 
worked as a journeyman (hoemaker. I ad- 
dreffed each with, " Pray Sir, have you got 
any occajion . ?>> which is the term made ufe 
of by journeymen in that ufeful occupation, 
when feeking employment. Mod of thofe 
honeft men had quite forgot my perfon, as 
many of them had not feen me fince I 
worked for them : fo that it is not eafy for 
you to conceive with what furprize and 
aftonifhment they gazed on me. For you 
muft know that I had the vanity (I call it 
humour) to do this in my chariot, attended 
by my fervants ; and on telling them who I 
was, all appeared to be very happy to fee me, 
And I aflure you, my friend, it afforded me 
much real pleafure to fee fo many of my old 

acquaintances 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 459 

acquaintances alive and well, and tolerable 
happy. The following lines often occurred 
to my mind : 

" Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife, 
" Their fober wifhes never learn 'd to ftray : 

*' Along the cool fequefler'd vale of life 

" They keep the noifelefs tenor of their way." 

At Taunton and Wellington it feemed to 
be the unanimous determination of all the 
poorer fort, that I mould by no means be 
deficient in old acquaintance. Some poor 
fouls declared that they had known me for 
fifty years (that is, years before I was born ;) 
others had danced me in their arms a thou- 
fand times ; nay, better dill, fome knew my 
grandmother ; but, bed of all, one old man 
claimed acquaintance with me, for having 
feen me many times on the top of a fix-and- 
twenty round ladder, balanced on the chin 
of a merry Andrew ! The old man was how- 
ever egregioufly miftaken, as I never was fo 
precarioufly exalted, my ambition, as you 
well know, taking a very different turn. 
But that was of no confequence : all the old 

fellow 



460 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

fellow wanted was a JhUllng and I gave it 
him. No matter (as Sterne fays x ) from what 
motive. I never examine into thefe things. 
This I obferved, that none of them were 
common beggars, but poor ufeful labouring 
people. Giving to common {hollers is 
but encouraging idlenefs and every other 
vice. And as f mall matters made many happy^ 
I was fupremely fo, to be the means of con- 
tributing to their comfort. And indeed who 
would hefitate at being the means of dif- 
fufing happinefs on fuch eafy terms, and 
with fo little trouble ? 

The bells rang merrily all the day of my 
arrival. I was alfo honoured with the at- 
tention of many of the moft refpedable peo- 
ple in and near Wellington and other parts : 
Some of whom were pleafed to inform me, 
that the reafon of their paying a particular 
attention to me was their having heard, and 
now having themfelves an opportunity of 
obferving, that I did not fo far forget my- 
felf, as many proud upftarts had done ; that 
the notice I took cf my poor relations and 

old 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 461 

old acquaintance merited the refpect and ap- 
probation of every real gentleman. They 
were alfo pleafed to exprefs a wifti, that as 
foon as I could dilpofe of my bufinefs, I 
would come down and fpend the remainder 
of my days among them. This reception 
was the more pleafing, as I have fometimes 
obferved a contrary conduft pra&ifed by 
fome, who have been pleafed to ftile them- 
felves gentlemen, and on that fcore think 
that they have a right to treat men of bufi- 
nefs (however refpectable they may be) as 
by much their inferiors; and it too often 
happens that one of thofe petty gentry who 
poflefles but a hundred or two per armum, 
will behave in a haughty manner to a man 
in bufinefs who fpends as many thoufands ; 
but fuch mould be told, that a real gentle- 
man in any company will never either by 
word or action, attempt to make the meaneft 
perfon feel his inferiority, but on the con- 
trary. 

They mould be informed alfo how highly 
impolitic and unjuft it is to attempt to fix 

a ftigma 



462 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

a ftigma on trade and commerce, the very 
things that have caufed England to rife fo 
high in the political fcale of Europe. 

*Tis true that even in England you may 
fee great numbers of very opulent tradef- 
men who have not an idea but what they 
have acquired behind the counter ; but you 
may alfo find many thoufands of the fame 
clafs of life who are pofleiTed of very liberal 
ideas, and who would not commit an action 
that would difgrace a title. For my part, 
1 will endeavour to adhere to the advice 
given by Perfius as it is tranflated : 

" Study thyfelf what rank, or what degree 

:f The wife Creator has ordain'd for thee : 

" And all the offices of that ftate 

" Perform ! and with thy prudence guide thy fate." 

William Jones, Efcj. of Foxdowne, near 
Wellington, informed me of a remarkable 
prognofication in my favour ; he told me that 
when I was a boy, about twelve years of age, 
Mr. Paul, then a very confiderable wholefale 
Jinen-draper, in Friday-ftreet, London, (I 

believe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 463 

believe ftill living) pafling by my father's 
honfe one day, flopped at the door and afked 
various queftions about fome guinea-pigs 
which I had in a box. My anfwers it feems 
pleafed and furprized him, and turning to- 
wards Mr. Jones, faid, " Depend upon it, Jtr, 
that boy 'will one day rife far above thejituatlon 
that his prefent mean circumftances feem to pro- 
mife" So who knows what a great man I 
may yet be ? perhaps 

" A double pica in the book of fame." 

Give me leave to introduce another pre- 
diction, though not altogether fo pleafing as 
that juft related. An Italian gentleman, and 
if we may judge by appearance, a perfon of 
rank, was fome years fince looking at fome 
books of palm //try in my {hop, and at the 
fame time endeavoured to convince me of 
the reality of that fcience. In the midft of 
his difcourfe, he fuddenly feized my right- 
hand, and looking for fome time with great 
attention on the various lines, he informed 
me that I had twice been in danger of lofmg 

mv 



464 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOK. 

my life, once by water, and once by a wound 
in my head. He was certainly right, but I 
believe by chance, as I have many other 
times been in very great danger. He ad- 
ded, that I had. much of the goddefs Venus 
in me, but much more of Mars ; and allured 
me that I mould go to the wars, and arrive 
at great honour. He like wife informed me, 
that I mould die by jire-arms pointed over 
a wall. How far the former part of this 
gentleman's prediction may be relied on, I 
will not pretend to decide, but the laft part 
of it was lately very near coming to fuch a de- 
cifion as would have proved the fallibility of 
that part of his prognoftication, though even 
in that cafe he might have pleaded his being 
pretty near the matter of facl, only fubfti- 
tuting gunpowder inftead of 'Jire-arms, and I 
hould not have had it m my power to con- 
tend the point with him. I will endeavour 
to render this intelligible : On Tuefday the 
fifth of July, 1791? I very nearly efcaped 
being blown up with the powder-mills be- 
longing to Mr. Bridges, at E well, near Mer- 

ton 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 465 

ton in Surry. A quarter of an hour before 
that event took place, I was riding out with- 
in one mile of the mills, and having en- 
quired of Mr. Rofe, atCoom-Houfe, for the 
way that leads round by the mills, I actually 
rode part of the way, with an intent of 
vifiting them. But fomehow or other, I 
fcarce knew why, I turned my horfe about, 
and a few minutes after I had done fo, I law 
the fatal cataftrophe ; which happening by 
day, refembled a large cloud of fmoke, of 
a very light colour, and the report reached 
my ears immediately after. I inftantly con- 
cluded, it could be nothing lefs than the 
powder-mills blown up ; and on my return 
to my houfe at Merton, I foon learnt that 
it was the identical powder-mills that in all 
probability I mould have been in, or clofe 
by, at the time of the explofion. By this 
accident it feems four men were killed, 
fome of whom had large families. The 
bodies were fo much mangled by the explo- 
fion, that they could not be diflinguifhed 
E e from 



466 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

from each other, and the head of one of them 
.was thrown to a great diftance. 

But to proceed with my journey. I efteem 
myfelf peculiarly happy, on one account in 
particular, that I undertook it; and have 
only to regret it did not take place fooner, as 
it tended to undeceive me in a matter in 
which I had long heen in an error. The 
cafe was this : I had for feven years jpafl fup- 
pofed that the parents of my firft wife were 
dead ; and on enquiring after them of Mr. 
Cafli at Bridgewater, he confirmed the re- 
port. However, as we pafled through South 
Petherton, being but a mile from the place 
where they formerly lived, I could not help 
flopping to find out the time when they died, 
and what other particulars I could learn re- 
lative to them, but to my very great furprife, 
I was informed that they were both living 
at Newton, two miles diftant. On this in- 
formation I gave the coachman orders to 
drive us there, but flill could fcarcely credit 
that they really were alive. But, O my dear 

Friend, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 467 

* 

Friend, it is utterly impoffible for me to 
defcribe the fenfations of Mrs. Lackington 
and myfelf, on entering 



" The cobweb'd cottage, 



" With ragged wall of mold'ring mud," 

which contained them ! 

" Then Poverty, grim fpeftre, rofe, 
" And horror o'er the profpeft threw." 

AMWBLL, 

There we found two 

* r Poor human rains, tottering o'er the grave !" 

The dim light on our entrance feemed a little 
to flaih in the focket, and every moment 
threatened to difappear for ever ! while their 
" pale wither'd hands were ftretched out 
towards me, trembling at once with eager- 
nefs and age." Never before did I feel the 
full force of Shakefpear's defcription, 



Laftfceneofall 



" That ends this ftrange eventful hiftory, 

** Is fecond childifhnefs ; and mere oblivion : 

* San teeth, fans eyes, fans tafte : fans every thing." 

e 2 From 



468' LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

From fuch a (late of poverty and wretched- 
nefs, Good God, deliver every worthy 
character. 

The old man is ninety years of age, and 
the good old woman eighty. The old man's 
intelledls are much impaired ; he for a mo- 
ment knew me, and then his recollection 
forfook him. The old woman retained her 
fenfes and knowledge during the whole of 
the time we were with them. On inquiry 
I found, that what little property they had 
poffeffed had been all expended for fome years. 

* c How many once in Fortune's lap high fed, 

" Solicit the cold hand of Charity ! 

" To fhock us more folicit it in vain !" 

Dr. YOUNG. 

Amidft this dreary fcene, it was fome alle- 
viation to learn that their' pious fon had given 
them weekly as much as he could afford from 
his own little family, and I have added 
enough to render them as comfortable as 
their great age can poffibly admit of. But 
for your fake and my own, I will drop this 

gloomy 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 469 
gloomy fubjeft ; which to me proved one 
of the moft affecting fcenes that ever I expe- 
rienced in the whole courfe of my life. 

During our continuance at Wellington, I 
one morning rode over to Black Down, on 
purpofe to inipe6l an immenfe heap of ftones 
on the top of the hill, ftrait before the town, 
which I remembered to have feen when a 
boy. The diftance from Wellington is about 
two miles. Thofe ftones cover about an 
acre of ground, and rife to a great height. 
The country people informed me with great 
gravity, that " the Devil brought them 
there in one night in his leathern apron" 
But the name of it, as well as the form, 
prove what it was. It is called Symmon's 
Borough or Barrow ; which, you know, 
iignifies a burial-place. I mould not have 
taken any notice of it here, had I ever feen 
any Barrow of Jones befides this, and five 
other fmaller Barrows, about half a mile 
from the large one. The country people in- 
formed me that the devil brought the five 
E e 3 heaps 



470 LIFE OF J. LACONGTON. 

heaps in his glove. I alfo obferved the re- 
mains of a large camp near the fpot. Cam- 
den has taken notice of a large camp at 
Roach Caftle, three or four miles from 
hence ; it is ftrange that neither he nor 
Gough mould take any notice of fo fingular 
a Barrow as this certainly is. 



1 remain, 



Pear Friend, 



Yours, 



LETTER 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 47 r 



LETTER XLVI. 



" Ye who amid this feverifh world would wear 

'* A body free of pain, of cares the mind, 

Fly the rank city : fhun its turbid air : 

*' Breathe not the chaos of eternal fmoke 

" And volatile corruption from the dead. 

" The dying, fickening, and the living world 

*' Exhal'd : To fully Heaven's tranfparent dome 

" With dim mortality. It is not air 

" That from a thoufand lungs reeks back to thine, 

" Sated with exhalations, rank and fell, 

" The fpoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw 

** Of Nature : when from fhape and texture (he 

" Relapfed into fighting Elements ; 

" It is not air, bat floats a naufeous mafs 

" Of all obfcene, corrupt, offenfive things, 

M Much moifture hurts : here a fordid bath, 

" With daily rancour fraught, relaxes more- 

f The folids than fimple moifture can," 

ARMSTRONG'S Art of Health. 

Lvme, Sep. 4, 1791. 
DEAR FRIEND, 

JjEING now at one of thofe 
places ufually called watering-places, that is, 
a place where invalids refort in great num- 
bers for the real or pretended purpofe of 
J e 4 drinking 



47* LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

drinking the waters for which each particu- 
lar fituation is in repute, and bathing in them 
with a view to the reftoration of their health ; 
I fhall trouble you with a few obfervations 
which have occurred to me on the fubject. 
I cannot entertain a doubt but that m,any 
by this practice have been highly benefited ; 
but at the fame time I muft obferye that fuch 
relief is only to be reafpnably expected where 
the parties poflefs a fufficient mare of pru- 
dence to conform to thofe rules which are 
laid down to them by thofe who are befl ac- 
quainted with the nature of the feveral com- 
plaints, the flrength, or weaknefs of their 
conflitutions, and the different virtues thofe 
feveral waters poflefs, fo as properly to adapt 
them to each particular cafe, by drinking 
the waters at proper ftated periods, as well as 
in proper dofes ; befides conforming' to fuch 
a regimen as {hall co-operate with them ia 
producing the defired effect. But where 
invalids negledt all, or indeed any of thoie 
rules, is it not rather an abfurdity to expect 
relief :?!- will endeavour to explain myfelf i 

Thofe 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 473 

Thofe waters either poffefs powerful vir- 
tues, or they do not. If they do, is it not 
obvious that fome judgment and caution is 
neceffary in the ufe of them ? which muft 
either produce good or bad effects, according 
to the prudence with which they are applied, 
If on the other hand, they are of fo iufigni- 
ficant a nature, that they may be ufed at any 
time, and in any proportion without injury ; 
and that too in diforders and conftitutions 
very much varying from each other, then 
furely the inference muft be, that no depend- 
ance is to be placed on them, and confe- 
quently it matters not if they are never ufed 
at all. For what purpofe then do fuch 
numbers put themfelves to the inconvenience, 
expence, and trouble pf travelling (frequently 
from diftant part? of the kingdom) and that 
too when many of them are in fo debilitated 
a ftate, that their very removal is attended 
with extreme danger, and fometimes proves 
fatal ? But that thofe -waters are not 
inactive, I am well convinced, having; 
fecn the bad efFeds arifmg from the im-j 

pruden| 



474 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

prudent ufe of them, in many inftances, as 
well as the happy confeqiuences attending 
their being ufed with due caution, 

I was firft led into thefe reflections by 
having been highly diverted, when I vifited 
Buxton feveral fummers, with the prepofte- 
rous and abfurd conduct of forne of the com- 
pany who reforted thither for the purpofe 
of reftoring their health. I remember fix or 
jfeven gentlemen informing me, that they 
were violently afflicted with the gout and 
rheumatifm, and had undertaken thisjour-; 
ney in hopes of receiving benefit by the wa* 
ters. Thefe gentlemen often rode or \A alked 
about the cold dreary hills, in very damp we 
mornings, and afterwards drank claret from 
three o'clock in the afternoon to three the 
next morning : But I did not continue there 
long enough to be a witnefs of the happy 
effects which muft inevitably be produced by 
a perfeverance in fuch a judicious regimen. 

I alfo vifited Freeftone, near Boftou in 
Lincolnlhire : to which place a number of 

tradefmeu. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 475 

tradefmen and farmers reforted with their 
wives, in hopes of receiving benefit from the 
ufe of the fait water, in a variety of com- 
plaints; which they had been advifed to do 
by the faculty, for a month, with particu- 
lar directions to bathe every other day, and 
on the intermediate days to drink half a pint 
of the water in the courfe of that day. But 
thefe wife people on duly confidering the 
matter, were fully convinced that this would 
detain them from their families and bufinefs 
longer than was altogether convenient ; and 
,alfo (which they fuppofed their medical 
friends never thought of) that they could 
bathe the full number of times, and drink 
the prefcribed quantity of the water, in a 
week or a fortnight at farthefl, and thus not 
only expedite the cure, but likewife enable 
them to return to their families and bufinefs 
fo much earlier, as well as fave the neceffapy 
expences attending their continuing for fuch 
a length of time at the watering place. 
Thefe united confiderations appeared to them 
fo confident with prudence and oeconomy, 

that 



476 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

that they refolved to put them into imme- 
diate practice. I remonftrated with feveral 
of thefe good people on the impropriety of 
their conduct ; but whether they concluded 
1 was a party Jnterefted in detaining them on 
the fpot, or whether they deemed my judge- 
ment inferior to their own, I know not ; but 
I obferved that fome of them bathed feveral 
times in a day, and drank fait water by the 
quart, the confequence of which was, that 
they left the place when the time expired 
which they had prefcribed to themfelves, 
much worfe than they came. Some indeed 
were fo very weak, that I am perfuaded they 
could with difficulty reach their homes alive. 
And in thefe cafes the want of fuccefs, in-* 
ftead of being attributed to the folly of the 
patients, is generally transferred to the wa- 
ters, and to the want of judgment in thofq 
who advifed the ufe of them. 

I affure you, my dear friend, this is pretty 
much the cafe at Lyme. My rooms com- 
manding a view of the fea, I have this and 
feveral other days noticed many decent look- 
ing 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 477 

ing men going down the beach three or four 
times in as many hours, and drinking a pint 
of water each time. I have made the fame 
obfervation at Seaton^ Charmouth and other 
places, fo that the obfervation of Crabmaw's- 
nurfe in " the adventures of Sir Lancelot 
Greaves" has frequently occurred to me : 
" Blefled be G (faid me) my patient is in 
a fair way ! his apozem has had a bleffed 
effect ! five and twenty ftools fince three 
o'clock in the morning !" 

Relating thefe particulars to a medical 
friend, he informed me that fuch fpecimens 
of ignorance and obftinacy were by no means 
confined to the watering places; as he had 
in the courfe of his practice met with re- 
peated inftances,, where patients with a vieto 
of haftening the cure, and getting out of the 
doftors hands (whom the vulgar charitably 
fuppofe wim to retain them there as long as 
poflible) have fwallowed a half pint mixture 
intended for feveral dofes at once, and a 
vWole box of pills in the fame manner. The 
conferences of which have been, that from 

the 



478 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

the violence of the operations they have re- 
mained in his hands a considerable time, fome 
fb long as We (thus foolimly trifled with) 
lafted. 

But here are many of another clafs ; fome 
of whom, though not all, came on purpofe 
to bathe, but during the whole of their con- 
tinuance here, never found time to bathe 
once. Some haften to the billiard-room as 
foon as they are out of their beds in the 
morning, and there they continue until bed- 
time again. A few of thefe are indeed much 
benefited, being cured of confutations In their 
purfes, while others become proportionably 
as much emaciated. And a great number, 
both of ladies and gentlemen devote the 
whole of their time to dreffing, eating, and 
playing at whifr.. Charming exercife it muffc 
be ! as they frequently fit ftill in their chairs, 
for eight or ten hours together. 

Here are others again, who, like the gen- 
tlemen at Buxton, fit drinking until three ,r 
four ,in the morning; making a delightful 

noife. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 479 

noife, to compofe thofe in the fame houfe who 
are real invalids, and who defirous of obtain- 
ing reft, retire early, though frequently to 
very little purpofe. 

I have alfo obferved, that all the above 
places are as healthy for horfes, as they are 
for their mailers. For as the innkeepers de- 
pend almoft entirely on the feafon, they take 
great care, and do all they can to make thele 
places comfortable. So that if gentlemen, 
have fat, lazy, prancing horfes, and want to 
reduce them in fize and temper, th^y may be 
fure to have it done in fome of the inns 
and ftables at the various watering places : 
Where fuch hay is procured as mufl infalli- 
bly anfwer the purpofe even though they be 
allowed a double portion of corn. 

There is yet another very great advantage 
(which I had like to have forgot) refulting 
from attending the watering places. Such 
gentlemen who happen to have fervants too 
honeft, too induftrious, too attentive, too 
cleanly, too humble, too fober, &c. by tak- 



480 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

ing them to any of thefe places, where they 
have fo much leifure time, and where thefe 
party-coloured gentry meet together fo often, 
and in fuch numbers, no one can go away 
unimproved, except he is a very dull fellow 
indeed. This is not merely my own obfer- 
vation : for feveral gentlemen of my ac- 
quaintance allured me that they had always 
found their fervants improved prodigioufly 
after each of thefe excurfions. 

We purpofe fetting out for Wey mouth in 
a day or two: but as I intend that this lhall 
be my lafl epiftle, I will riot conclude it un- 
til I arrive at Merton, 

" If into diftant parts I vainly roam* 
" And novelty from varied objefts try, 

*' My bufy thoughts refeek their wonted home*, 
And ficken at the vain variety/' 

Merton, Sept. i jth* We arrived here fafe 
laft night, being my birth- day. At Wey- 
mouth we had the honour of walking feveral 
evenings on the Efplanade, with their ma- 
jeflies and the four princefles. His majefty 

feems 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 481 

feems in perfect health and fpirits, and dif- 
fufes life and fpirits to all around him. 
Long, very long may he continue to enjoy 
the fame degree of health and happinefs ! 
But I could not help pitying Mr. Hughes, 
the manager of the Theatre there ; as the 
company in general feem to pay hut very 
little attention to plays, while they can par- 
take of the pleafure of walking and breathing 
the fea air with fo many of the roval family. 
But his majefty, whofe humanity is by no 
means the lead of his many virtues, will no 
douht confider Mr, Hughes, who is induftri- 
ous to an extreme, as he is fcarce a moment 
idle. For betides managing his company, 
performing himfelf fix, fometimes eight cha- 
racters in a week, he paints all his own 
fcenes, and attends to many other fubjeds ; 
and although he has had a large expenfive 
family (nine children,) the theatre there, 
and that alfo at Exeter is his own. Wey- 
mouth theatre he rebuilt about four years 
fince ; every thing is very neat ; his fcenes 
are fine, and his company a very good one. 
I faw them perform four pieces with a deaj 
Ff of 



482 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 1 ' 

of pleafure; notwithstanding I had often 
feen the fame in London, I remarked here 
as I had long before done at Bath, that the 
parts were more equally fupported than they 
often are at Drury-lane and Covent-garden ; 
for although at thofe places we have many 
iiril-rate actors and actreffes, yet fometimes 
parts are given to fuch wretched performers 
as would difgrace a barn, which I never faw 
done at Bath or Weymouth. 

In our road home, within half a mile of 
Dorchefter, we ftopt and fpent half an hour 
in looking round the famous Roman AmphU 
theatre. It is clofe to the road, on the right 
hand fide, and covers about an acre of ground. 
It is judged that ten thoufand people might 
without interruption have beheld fuch exer~. 
cifes as were exhibited in this fchool of the 
ancients ; it is called Mambury, and is fup- 
pofed to be the compleateft antiquity of the 
kind in England. 

I alfo amufed myfelf, as I travelled 
through Dorfetfhire and Wiltfhire, in fur- 
veying many of the numerous camps, fo'r- 

tifications, 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 483 

tifications, and barrows; which lafling mo- 
numents of antiquity are to be feen in abun- 
dance in thefe counties, a great number of 
them remain in a perfect ftate. 

Nor could I any longer omit the opportu- 
nity of feeing that ftupendous piece of anti- 
quity on Salifbury Plain, the famous Stone* 
henge, two miles from Amefbury. We ipent 
near two hours there in aftonimment ; and 
had not night came on, we fiiould not have 
been able to have parted from it fo foon. We 
found a very good inn at Amefbury, which 
proves very convenient to fuch whom cu- 
riofity may detain on this wonderful fpot 
until it is late. It is remarkable, that al- 
though fo many able antiquaries have de- 
voted their time and attention to the invefli- 
gation of Stonehenge, it remains ftill a mat- 
ter undecided when and for what purpofe 
this amazing pile was formed j nor is there 
lefs caufe of admiration, how tones of fuch 
magnitude were brought hither ! I (hall not 
prefume, either to decide on this curious 
point, or offer any conjeaures of my own. 
F f z I have 



484 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTOtt. 

I have now, fir, not only given you the 
moft material circumftances of my life, but 
have alfo fuper-added a fhort fketch of fome 
of my travels. And mould the fine air of 
Merton preferve the flock of health and 
fpirits which I have acquired in this laft ex- 
curfion, I intend during the fummerto fpend 
a few hours in the middle of three or four 
days in every week in Chifweli-ftreet, devot- 
ing the mornings and ' evenings to my rural 
retreat, 

" Where cheerfulnefs triumphant fair, 
" Difpels the painful cloud of care, 
" O, fweet of language, mild of mien, 
** O, Virtue's friend, and pleafure's queen ! 
** By thee our board with flow 'rs is crown'd, 
" By thee with fongs our walks refound ; 
*' By thee the fprightly mornings ftiine, 
" And ev'ning hours in peace decline." 

During the winter I purpofe fpending moil 
of my time in town ; where I hope again to 
enjoy the company of you, fir, and fome 
others of our old philofophical friends. In 
the mean time, I am, 

Dear friend, yours. 

P.S. 



LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 485 

P. S. I mould deem myfelf deficient Jin 
point ofjuftice to the ingenious artift who 
painted the portrait from whence the engrav- 
ing affixed as a frontifpiece to this volume is 
taken, if I did not embrace this opportunity 
of acknowledging the approbation it has been 
honoured with by all who have feen it, as a 
ftriking likenefs. 

The following circumftance, though to 
many it may -appear in a ludicrous point of 
view, yet as it is a fad which does not 
depend folely on my afTertion, I mall not 
hefitate to mention it. 

Before the portrait was finimed, Mrs. 
L,ackington, accompanied by another lady, 
called on the painter to view it. Being intro- 
duced into a room filled with portraits, her 
little dog (the faithful Argus) being with 
her, immediately ran to that particular por- 
trait, paying it the fame attention as he is 
always accuftomed to do the original ; which 
made it neceflary to remove him from it, left 
he mould damage it ; though this was not 
accomplished without expreflions of difTatis- 
faction on the part of poor Argus. 

Thofe 



486 LIFE OF J. LACKINGTON. 

Thofe who are converfant in hiflory will 
Hot doubt the fa6t ; feveral fimilar inftahces 
being recorded of the fagacity and nice dif* 
crimination of thefe animals. 



A PRAYER, 

" may my work for ever live ! 

" (Dear friendj this felfifh zeal forgive s) 

<{ May no vile mifcreant fancy cook 

" Prefume to tear my learned book, 

" Xo fmgehis fowl for nicer gueft, 

" Or pin it on the turkey's breaft. 

" Keep it from paftry bak'd, or buying, 

" From broiling (leak, and fritters frying j 

" From lighting pipe or wrapping fnuff; 

" Or cafing up a feather muff; 

" From all the feveral ways the grocer 

" (Who to the learned world's a foe, Sir,) 

" Has found in twifting, folding, packingj 

" His brain and. ours at once a racking 

" And may it never curl the head 

" Of eithef living block, or dead. 

" Thus when all dangers they have paft> 

" My leaves like leaves of brafs (hall laft. 

t( No blaft fli?.ll from a critic's breath, 

" By vile infection caufe their death, 

<l 'Till they in flames at laft expire, 

" And help to fet the world on fire." 

FINIS, 



University of California 

SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 

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